Missouri and Kansas join crush to meet Monday health care deadline

03/31/2014 11:45 AM

03/31/2014 11:45 AM

Missouri and Kansas residents are in the final day’s crush to enroll in a health care plan by Monday’s deadline.

In Missouri, last-minute enrollment efforts are expected to boost the number of consumers gaining coverage through the new federal health insurance law, but organizers say the deadline push won’t hit anticipated enrollment targets.

The Cover Missouri Coalition expects statewide enrollment through the Affordable Care Act’s online health insurance marketplace to top 100,000 by the deadline. The federal government projected Missouri’s six-month enrollment at 118,000.

The federal government expected 53,000 Kansans to enroll in health plans through the marketplace. By March 1, about 29,000 had.

Missouri and Kansas are among the 36 states where the online marketplace is being run by the federal government after state lawmakers balked at participation in President Obama’s signature effort.

Deadline-day activities in Kansas City and St. Louis resembled the final frantic hours of a political campaign, with organized community events to boost enrollment as well as aggressive social media efforts and door-to-door messages.

In Kansas, counselors are expecting a crush of late-hour requests for help from Kansas consumers seeking to navigate the federal government’s online health insurance marketplace.

Health Care navigator Paige Ashley of the Shawnee County Health Department in Topeka said its eight counselors have helped several hundred people in the past few days. Navigators were at the Topeka’s public library to handle appointments Monday. But people who didn’t already have appointments were being directed to the federal government website.

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