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Last-Minute Uninsured ‘Shoppers’ Seek Health Care Advice

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(Credit: Mike Dougherty)

(Credit: Mike Dougherty)

Mike Dougherty Mike Dougherty
Mike is a general assignment reporter and editor for KYW Newsradio...
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By Mike Dougherty

BALA CYNWYD, Pa. (CBS/AP) – Monday is the deadline to sign up for private health insurance in the new online markets created by President Barack Obama’s health care law.

Agents from Independence Blue Cross helped customers sign up for a plan that works for them in Bala Cynwyd, Montgomery County Sunday.

A steady stream of people walked through the doors of the mobile Independence Express — a trailer set up in a parking lot along City Avenue.

Syed Naji from Northeast Philadelphia (pictured above) came expecting to pay up to $150 a month for insurance. He left with a huge smile on his face.

“Terrific! $21 a month,” he said. “I’m just ecstatic, man. I got dental and just checkups.”

Shukriyyah’s results also made her happy:

“I pay 15 cents for my insurance!” she said.

Victoria Blisard with Independence Blue Cross says they offer 13 different plans, and agents will help guide customers to choose the right one.

“We have HMOs, PPOs. If you want a health savings account with your plan, we have options for that as well.”

Rates are based on income and a number of other factors.

Blisard says there are three locations open until 8 p.m Monday night. She says customers can also sign up by phone until the deadline by calling 1-855-429-4968:

“Our agents will take you through a real guided shopping experience, ask you all of those different types of questions.”

The deadline is March 31st at midnight for the states where the federal government is running the sign-up website. States running their own exchanges set their own deadlines.

You can sign up online by going to HealthCare.gov or the Independence Blue Cross website.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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