Clock is ticking to sign up for health insurance under Affordable Care Act

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Open enrollment to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act closes Feb. 15, those who don't carry insurance could face penalties next year. (WTVD)

With the deadline looming for open enrollment to end at midnight February 15, there's a big push to get North Carolinians signed up under the Affordable Care Act - also known as Obamacare.

"They just can't wait," said Sorien Schmidt, NC Director of Get Covered America. "The longer they wait, the less likely they are to get an appointment or see someone for help or to check out their options."

This weekend, there will be enroll-a-thons which are free, walk-in, events to help North Carolinians explore their healthcare options or get questions answered about Obamacare.

"There is free expert advice in every county," said Schmidt.

Here are scheduled events in Durham:

-Feb. 14 9am-3pm at Durham Regional Hospital Auditorium 3643 N. Roxboro Rd. Durham.
-Feb. 15 1pm-8pm at Lincoln Community Health Center 1301 Fayetteville Rd. Durham.

Here are scheduled events in Raleigh:

-Feb. 14 9am-4pm Junior League of Raleigh 711 Hillsborough St. Raleigh.
-Feb. 15 1pm-8pm Martin St. Baptist Church 1001 E. Martin St., Raleigh.

"A lot of people still misunderstand and think it may still be unaffordable to get healthcare," said Schmidt. "But, in North Carolina, by January 30, 480 thousand people almost had enrolled and 92% of them are getting financial help to pay for their insurance."

For those who don't get health insurance, some are finding out while filing their taxes that there are fines to pay for being uninsured. And, next year, the fines will only get bigger.

"So, the fine goes up to $325 dollars or 2% of your income per person in your household," explained Schmidt.

There are some who will be exempt from those fines, but, most won't be, making it even more important to explore your options before open enrollment ends Feb. 15.

For more information on how to get free help for health coverage click HERE.

To set up an appointment with a health care expert in NC, call (855) 733-3711.

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