Deadline for special ACA enrollment ends Sunday

WASHINGTON — The deadline is quickly approaching for people to get healthcare coverage through the Affordable Care Act this year.

This impacts people who don’t receive health insurance through their jobs.

The White House opened a special enrollment period for health insurance in February due to the pandemic and so far, more than 2.5 million people have signed up.

Himali Patel is one of the millions who updated or applied for healthcare coverage through this special enrollment period.

She said the pandemic hit her family hard.

“Just because you close the doors of a business doesn’t mean that you’re off the hook for complications, you’re still responsible for expenses even if you close doors,” said Patel, an Atlanta business owner.

Patel said they had to close three of their five businesses which was a decision that drastically changed her income and how she would provide for her family.

“I don’t know how I would decide if I needed to pay my mortgage, take care of my groceries, you know pay the rent for a business you know or pay my health insurance,” said Patel. “You know if I’m not alive I can’t take care of those bills, but if I don’t take care of those bills, I can’t get health insurance.”

The White House says many families have found some additional savings and they’re urging people who need it to sign up before the window ends this Sunday.

“Covers doctors’ visits, hospital care, prescription drugs, preventative services, everything that families need to get and stay healthy,” said Christen Linke Young, Domestic Policy Council for the White House.

But for those who need Medicaid, access is limited. There are still 12 states including Georgia, Tennessee, Florida and the Carolinas where Medicaid hasn’t been expanded which leaves millions of low-income families in limbo.

“For very low-income families who live in those states, there’s no option to get affordable health insurance. We are working closely with congress under President Biden’s Build Back Better plan to solve that problem,” said Linke Young.

The White House says if you don’t sign up for health coverage by this Sunday, you’ll have to wait until the fall for the next enrollment period.