Enroll the Ridge open Saturday - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Enroll the Ridge open Saturday

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)- A Jonesboro organization will be open Saturday to enroll Arkansans for coverage under the Affordable Care Act before the deadline on Monday.

The director of Enroll the Ridge in Jonesboro said they have been very busy enrolling people in the federal marketplace but wants people to know there is still time to sign up before the deadline.

"We're helping a lot of people who didn't have insurance before and that's the key take away point," said Jim McDonald, director of Enroll the Ridge. 

He said there is a significant number of Arkansans who do not have health insurance. 

"Just like the rest of the nation, we're below where we need to be to get people fully enrolled in the system," McDonald said. "We signed up close to 2, 000 people, they enrolled either in the federal marketplace or in the private option."

McDonald said they want to help as many people sign up before the deadline.

"We're not open Saturday but with March 31st being the deadline for open enrollment in the federal marketplace, we're going to be open tomorrow from 8-5," he said. 

The White House said more than 6 million people have signed up on the new insurance exchanges. And a spokesperson with the Department of Health and Human Services said there have experienced a surge in demand.

"I think people are finally realizing that this may be their last chance for the year to enroll in the federal marketplace," McDonald said. "If you don't have insurance , you let your chronic illness get the better of you and it's a downward spiral as far as your health is concerned."

If you plan to enroll by Monday, McDonald said there are a few things you need to bring.

"We need their social security information, we need to be able to verify their identity and we also need to be able to verify the income," he said. 

He said having insurance allows you to keep a closer watch on your health.

"When you have insurance you can make doctor visits and keep yourself healthy, I think it's more important to think in those terms rather than what the cost is," McDonald told Region 8 News. 

If you started applying for coverage on HealthCare.gov but did not finish, federal official said on Tuesday that those people will have until mid-April to complete their enrollment. 

Copyright 2014 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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