Time running out to enroll in health care

The clock is ticking and the uninsured across the U.S have only hours now to sign up and get on the list for private health insurance before the government can add you to a different list.

11 p.m. is the magic hour when the uninsured put themselves on the list for penalties. If they haven’t signed up for health insurance now mandated by the federal government, they face fines of 1% or $95, whichever is greater.

Chicago residents, like Frankie Beljung, are not waiting any longer.

“I just tried doing it on line but everything was backed up,” Beljung who showed up at Ann Sathers restaurant on Chicago’s North Side to enroll in person.

All over the country similar gatherings are underway for the last time with people are signing up, taking numbers and sitting down with people called “navigators” to get them locked in during open enrollment.

While the website itself failed registrants again today, crashing for hours this morning, the people behind healthcare.gov claim no one who tried to sign up will be without health care. A grace period already in effect.

Time is running out to sign up. So far 114,000 are registered in Illinois and around 6 million across the U.S.

But the stream of people registering is good and steady, mostly those who are totally uninsured and have been for some time– now leaving, they say, with a sense of relief.

The next enrollment period opens in November.

FOR MORE INFO, GO TO: www.healthcare.gov

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