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Deadline approaches to get coverage effective Jan. 1

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Updated: 12/24/2013 7:32 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- For many families, this holiday shopping season included finding a new health care plan through Uncle Sam.

Local Affordable Care Act navigator Heather Hernandez received an influx of calls as last minute health-insurance shoppers inquired about signing up by Tuesday night's deadline in order to start coverage on Jan. 1.

 
With a newly extended deadline, you have until 11:59 p.m. Tuesday to sign up.
 
According to the healthcare.gov Twitter account, the website has already hit 2 million visits as of yesterday.
 
Locally, Hernandez is helping families choose from dozens of possible plans.
 
"Most people in Jacksonville are having 86 plans to choose from," said Hernandez.
 
According to Hernandez, the website is working much better than when she began using it back in October. She says it first took her about four and a half hours to sign up just one person.
 
"I'm navigating people, from the time they come in, setting them up with a brand new account in 30 minutes," said Hernandez.
 
But before you hit the web, Hernandez says there are a few things you need to know.
 
"Go online, fill out the application, see if you're available for any tax-credits, and then go on, choose a plan. From there, once you choose a plan, you make your payment by today's deadline," said Hernandez.
 
Hernandez says the next deadline to keep in mind is Jan. 15, if you sign up by then, you’ll have insurance coverage by Feb. 1.
 
The last day to sign up under the Affordable Care Act without facing a tax penalty is March 31.
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