Open enrollment for healthcare.gov ends March 31st - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Open enrollment for healthcare.gov ends March 31st

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More than 100,000 people are without health insurance in South Dakota.

About half of those are eligible for insurance at Healthcare.gov but haven't to signed up yet.

One Sioux Falls man recently signed up and is glad he did.

The Avera Health Plans call center in Sioux Falls answers questions about Healthcare.gov for people like Randy Kolden.

"I had health care coverage before, but it was quite expensive so that's why I wanted to check on this and basically found out it saved me about $450 dollars a month, with better coverage."

Randy is grateful, not only for what he saved but also for what it could have cost him if he didn't have insurance.

"I've had several friends that had cancer, and lost everything and died penniless basically, and you don't want to lose everything, I mean you want to have coverage," Kolden said.

And while Randy may have coverage through Healthcare.gov, 50,000 eligible South Dakotans don't. Many who are young and healthy might not think they need it, yet.

"I was young, first job, had a car accident, I had to spend the longest time in that hospital than anybody ever had, had the highest bill that anybody had, if you're young and have an accident, you have to have that coverage," Kolden said.

Which Randy realized then and now.

"There's a lot of people that think 'well, it's not going to happen to me, and I'm not going to get sick,' but a couple days ago we had ice, we had snow and I fell and broke a couple ribs, so accidents happen, you've got to have the coverage because you don't know," Kolden said.

If you are one of those 50,000 people who are eligible for insurance through Healthcare.gov, Avera Health Plans will host open houses throughout the state in March to answer your questions.

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