LAS VEGAS -- The next deadline for the Affordable Care Act is fast approaching and people are racing to get coverage in time for the new year.
The Silver State Exchange in Nevada has enrolled nearly 8,900 people. The key date is Dec. 23. That's the final day to pick and health plan on Nevada Health Link and pay for it. That will guarantee insurance coverage by Jan. 1, 2014.
Phone lines are busy inside the Ramirez Group in downtown Las Vegas where health insurance navigators are helping people sign up for the Silver State Health Exchange.
"It's been overwhelming the past couple of weeks. We have quadrupled the number of people who are calling and coming into the office," said Andres Ramirez, a healthcare navigator.
He's been helping droves of people like Felix Guilfuchi and his wife sign up by the deadline. They need coverage as soon as possible because she has breast cancer and Felix's insurance ran out six months ago. His wife hasn't had a check up since then.
"She's got go to the doctor every two or three months," Felix Guilfuchi said.
Now, her check ups will be covered.
A few documents are needed to make the process of signing up for insurance on Nevada Health Link run smoothly. Have a recent paycheck, a state ID or passport, a Social Security card, and a W-2 or tax filings on hand. Also, be patient because the call volume is high.
The website has recently undergone an overhaul that should make it easier for people to navigate.
"We've been flying through applications at a much faster pace than we ever filled out," Ramirez said.
For people who miss the Dec. 23 deadline, you will still be able to enroll, but you may have to wait as long as 15 to 30 days for coverage.
The absolute final day to sign up for the Affordable Care Act is March 31, 2014. That's when the open enrollment period ends for the year.