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SD Health Insurance Deadline Extended



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If the holidays side tracked you from applying for health coverage effective at the beginning of the New Year, it's not too late to enroll. South Dakota health care providers are extending the enrollment deadline through Dec. 31.

Sanford and Avera have decided to extend their application deadlines for coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace. The decision comes after the Federal Government announced they will allow providers to accept applications through Dec. 31.

The original deadline for coverage beginning Jan. 1 was Dec. 15, but was extended several times.

"We were getting phone calls on Christmas Eve day from parents no less who had just gotten their kids home from college or from jobs and they went 'well what are you going about health insurance for Jan 1,'" said Deb Muller, Avera Chief Administrative Officer.

Avera says they've had more than 500 applications since Dec. 24. Sanford says they're on board with the extension, but it might not be the ideal situation for meeting people's needs.

"On the 23rd we at least had a week to get ID cards printed, information pulled together, and stuff out to individuals. Now it's nearly impossible," said Ruth Krystopoliski, Pres. Sanford Health Planning.

Sanford says since they're closed on Jan. 1, they won't be able to issue ID cards for new enrolless until Jan. 2. Avera is requiring applicants to have their premiums paid by Jan. 7 for coverage to go into effect. Sanford applicants must have it paid by Dec. 31.

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