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Health insurance deadline looms in Colorado

9:40 PM, Dec 23, 2013   |    comments
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DENVER- So many people rushed to get into the federal exchange offered in 36 states that the December 23 deadline was pushed back and a one day grace period was added, extending the deaadline until 6 p.m. Tuesday, December 24.

Even with the extension, the looming deadline is adding pressure to people who say they are still frustrated by the website and the help line in Colorado.

Instead of spending the days before Christmas doing something she enjoys, business owner Alexandra Spur says she spent most of that me confused.

"I must have called them no less than 30 to 40 times in a matter of a week," she said. "Anyone would do something other than deal with health insurance. It's confusing."

Spur signed up for coverage just in time to beat the deadline. She has some advice for those who still have not signed up: watch out for curveballs.

"The biggest problem is that we didn't understand right away that we had to apply for Medicaid first, in order to apply for Obamacare," she explained.

Spur says the phone help line can test your patience.

"We waited six and a half hours at one point," she said.

The chief operating officer with Connect For Health Colorado said this late in the game, phone lines may be tied up with so many people cramming to enroll.

"Looking at our resources, we just wanted to make sure that those could simply not get through today, could get through tomorrow, so they could get enrolled," Patty Fontneau said.

Colorado is one of 17 states with it's own health care exchange. More than 36,000 Coloradans signed up so far and another 1,000 are expected to sign up 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Spur says, after a lot of time and energy, she is relieved to have accomplished what she needed to do.

"I got insurance and I'm going to pay less than I paid before," Spur explained. "I feel bad for those who don't have time to put in it though."

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