More than 700 Alaskans sign up for health coverage

ANCHORAGE — More Alaskans were signing up for the government health care plan as the deadline for coverage on Jan. 1 loomed.

More than 700 people had signed up by Tuesday morning with help from Enroll Alaska, which was created to help individuals enroll and understand their options.

The deadline to secure coverage by New Year’s Day was Monday, but was extended a day.

“I would say yesterday was a pretty busy day,” Enroll Alaska chief operating officer Tyann Boling said Tuesday morning. “We’re doing quite a bit today, also.”

Other private companies and navigators weren’t immediately available Christmas Eve for updated numbers, but United Way of Alaska spokeswoman Sandy McClintock told KTUU that four navigators in the state had signed up 65 people through Dec. 20.

For Enroll Alaska, the numbers have seen significant increases during December, Boling said.

The website was taken offline because of problems, and was essentially out of service in October and November. She said that by the end of November, Enroll Alaska had 107 people enrolled. More than 600 have signed up in December.

“The functionality of the website has increased dramatically. It’s still not perfect, by any means; it’s still a really, really complicated process,” Boling said. “But there’s people there to help them with it.”

March 31 remains the overall deadline for people to enroll, but Boling said she will reach out to the congressional delegation to seek en extension because of the website’s early problems.

If people sign up by the 15th of a month, they will have coverage at the first of the next month.

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