Gov. extends deadline for health care coverage that begins Jan. 1

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Associated Press and 13News Now

Posted on December 23, 2013 at 7:27 AM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 24 at 6:57 AM

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NORFOLK - Christmas Eve, until 11:59 p.m., is the last day to sign up for health coverage if you want it to begin on January 1.

The federal government Monday extended the deadline a day.

On Monday, Celebrate Healthcare,LLC & the Urban League of Hampton Roads hosted an enrollfest at the YWCA, 5215 Colley Avenue in Norfolk.  Workers said they ran into some problems using the government's website to sign up, but they were able to get coverage for those who attended. 

Many people without health insurance have been sizing up policies on the new government health care marketplace and making what seems like a logical choice: They're picking the cheapest one. 

Increasingly, experts in health insurance are becoming concerned that many of these first-time buyers will be in for a shock when they get medical care next year -- and discover they're on the hook for most of the initial cost.

The prospect of sticker shock after Jan. 1, when those who sign up for policies now can begin getting coverage, is seen as a looming problem.

Counselors who have been helping people choose policies say many are focused only on the upfront cost, not what the insurance companies agree to pay.

Affordable Care enrollment ends March 31, 2014 and the next open enrollment period starts November 15, 2014.

The latest CNN-ORC poll shows support for the Affordable Care Act has dropped to a record low - 35-percent approve of the law. That's down five points in less than a month.

Many people point to problems with the government's Website as a reason for the weak support.

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