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Special enrollment period opens for Nevada health insurance exchange

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Updated: 4/14 2:39 pm

LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- Nevada's state-run insurance marketplace had some challenges on deadline day, as people rushed to sign up and avoid a penalty.

A special enrollment opened Tuesday for a select group of people.

From Nevada Health Link's perspective, the good is that thousands of Nevadans will now have health insurance. The bad -- the enrollment experience has been frustrating and Nevada Health link acknowledges that.

While the final numbers may not be in, Nevada Health Link says the number of people who will finally be insured could be significant when the tally is in.

As of Monday, the number of people enrolled and paid was over 24,000. The number of people who selected plans is around 40,000.

And if you include 126,000 who now have Medicaid, CJ Bawden with Nevada Health Link says that's a lot of Nevadans who will now have health insurance because of the Affordable Care Act.

"There was very good progress in making sure all Nevadans have access to health insurance," Bawden said.

But people have endured a lot of complications to get thorugh the enrollment process on the Nevada Health Link website. Xerox is under intense scrutiny. Bawden says Xerox needs to do a better job.

"At this point in time Nevada Health Link is not where it needs to be and the state of Nevada will stay on Xerox and make sure that the process is completed and fixed in a timely manner.

At the Ramirez Group, a designated navigator site, employees are calling people who enrolled over the weekend.

For those who qualify for the special enrollment period starting April 1 through May 30, some may faced pro-rated penalties if they didn't finish the process by March 31.

"Let's say their application starts June 1st, because they were without insurance for more than 90 days, they are going to be at risk of a penalty," said Andres Ramirez, president of the Ramirez Group.

Those who make a payment by April 15 would avoid partial penalties.

If people didn't enroll at all, and are uninsured, they will be penalized.

The penalties will appear when filing 2014 taxes. For this first year, it will be $95 or one percent of your income, whichever is more.

For the second year the penalty increases to $325, or two percent of your income: and in the third year, $695 or two-and-a-half percent of income.

Next open enrollment starts in November.

Bawden says the website will be undergoing some changes Tuesday night to reflect information about this special enrollment period.

Those facing pro-rated penalties during this period could file a hardship waiver.

Anyone with a qualifying life even like marriage, a birth, or a job loss, can enroll at anytime.

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