Affordable Care Act enrollment deadline extended

Anyone who wants coverage beginning Jan. 1 must register by Monday


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The deadline to register for 2017 health coverage under the Affordable Care Act has been extended until Monday, Dec. 19.

This is the second year in a row that the federal government has granted health insurance shoppers a little extra time beyond the Dec. 15 deadline.

Kristin Boyd, with Alliances and Associates' Health Services, told News4Jax Tuesday that she has been enrolled in the ACA since the beginning.

"The job I had before did offer health care, but as time when on, they changed the policy and said since it was going to be provided in the marketplace, they were no longer going to offer it," Boyd said.

Three years ago, Boyd explained that she had the tough job of choosing a new health care plan.

"(It was) very stressful. (There's) a lot of information and you don't know the medical terms and sometimes you're just, like, 'I'll pick this just to have something,'" Boyd said.

She said there were a lot of options and she decided to go through the Affordable Care Act marketplace, but she still had concerns.

"I needed to know and make sure my doctors were covered, my specialists. I had a lot of questions -- how much it was going to cost me?" Boyd said.

Boyd said she called Alliance and Associates and spoke to a health care agent who helped match her with a plan that met her needs and budget. The agent didn't cost her a dime.

"Now with my agent, I have my specialists, I have my doctor, I know what I have, and it's less for me. Now I tend to go and get my wellness checks," Boyd said.

Boyd has since started working for the agency. She said it's important to get enrolled, not only for health reasons, but to avoid a $700 fine for not having insurance.

With the new administration, many people are concerned about whether the ACA will change. Health care agents said they expect the marketplace to stick around through 2019 or later. 

Anyone who wants health coverage beginning Jan. 1 must register by Monday, Dec. 19. To apply, visit healthcare.gov.