Last minute push in Knoxville to sign up for health insurance

Last minute push in Knoxville to sign up for health insurance

Posted:
Americans had until Monday night to sign up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Americans had until Monday night to sign up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
To help people in East Tennessee, Cherokee Health System employees had a "last minute sign up blitz" on Monday night. To help people in East Tennessee, Cherokee Health System employees had a "last minute sign up blitz" on Monday night.
But application counselor Tish Quillen says no one was actually able to enroll in a plan, because the website healthcare.gov wouldn't let them. But application counselor Tish Quillen says no one was actually able to enroll in a plan, because the website healthcare.gov wouldn't let them.

By KAYLA STRAYER
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Americans had until Monday night to sign up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

To help people in East Tennessee, Cherokee Health System employees had a "last minute sign up blitz" on Monday night.

Officials say they've been able to help more than 10,000 Tennesseans since the open enrollment process began.

It was a crowded room Monday night as people rushed to sign up for a healthcare plan before the midnight deadline.

But application counselor Tish Quillen says no one was actually able to enroll in a plan, because the website healthcare.gov wouldn't let them.

"Currently it is not cooperating. It's very busy, very bogged down. They are telling people to call the marketplace and leave their number. That initially gets the application started, then once they call, the marketplace will call them back and finish up the process," Quillen said.

Carl Brown doesn't have health insurance, but came to Cherokee Health Systems to check out his options.

"The biggest thing has been being able to afford some of the plans, that's why I'm here today to get some help with possibly being on a plan I can afford," Brown said.

Walter Washington says he doesn't mind the issues with enrolling, he's just happy to finally get health insurance.

"It can help everybody who doesn't have any kind of insurance, who can't pay for nothing, so I guess it will help," Washington said.

Charles Thomas is a volunteer with the Tennessee Healthcare Campaign. Despite the website issues, he says they did what they could to answer questions and guide people through the process.

"Some people are a bit frustrated, but most people are really understanding. Most people have been happy when they were assured that by coming here and getting their name on the list, that the deadline wouldn't apply to them and they would have an opportunity in the future to complete the process," Thomas said.

Officials say as long as people have attempted to sign up, the deadline to finish enrolling is now April 15th.

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