NEW: Last-Minute Insurance Shoppers Face Down Deadline

Posted at: 12/23/2013 10:28 AM

Photo credit: MGN
Photo credit: MGN

CHICAGO (AP) - Last-minute health insurance shoppers are calling help lines and attending enrollment events Monday, a key deadline under the nation's new health law.

It's the last day for people in most states to enroll for coverage if they want it to begin on Jan. 1. A federal call center received more than 200,000 calls over the weekend.

In Minnesota, the state's health exchange has had a number of technical issues, and the deadline has been pushed back until December 31st.

Some people - like 34-year-old Kyle Eichenberger in suburban Chicago - are letting the date pass without making a decision. He says he wishes the system were more user-friendly.

In Florida, 59-year-old Ronald Bellingeri signed up Friday in 90 minutes with help from an enrollment counselor. The general contractor lost his health insurance nearly a decade ago when he could no longer afford it. He says having coverage again makes him feel great.