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Monday is Key Deadline for Healthcare Reform in AR

For months, workers across the state have been trying to get as many people as possible signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Monday will be a key date in determining how successful those efforts have been.
LITTLE ROCK, AR -- For months, workers across the state have been trying to get as many people as possible signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
   
Monday will be a key date in determining how successful those efforts have been.

The December 23rd enrollment deadline is actually eight days later than originally intended.  It was pushed back amid major problems during the roll out of Healthcare.gov, the portal online where folks can shop for health insurance.

"In my experience the...  website has been doing pretty well,"  said Leonard Stern, an "in-person assister" with the non profit Future Builders that received a federal grant to help sign people up.

He says the website has improved since its rocky start, allowing Future Builders to aid in enrolling more than 700 Arkansans.

"People that have preexisting conditions that haven't had healthcare in years, they're just delighted that they're able to get healthcare now," Stern said.

Places like Harmony Health Clinic in Little Rock were busy this past week.  It was one of the many locations where people could get help navigating the system.

"Once we sit down and talk to them they see how easy it is," Stern said.

For those who sign up before the end of the day Monday, benefits will kick in January 1st.  That is, if people are actually enrolled in the plans they've selected.

Private insurers have had problems with errors when receiving customer data from government websites.

If people don't meet the Monday deadline, there is still a chance to sign up.  January 15th is the cut off date for those who want to begin receiving benefits February 1st. 
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