Deadline is Thursday for Jan. 1 coverage from health insurance marketplace

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OLATHE, Kan. -- The enrollment deadline is Thursday if you want health insurance to start Jan. 1  through the government marketplace. That marketplace still exists even though President-Elect Donald Trump has vowed to get rid of Obamacare. People are still enrolling as they have in previous years, and they can expect to have coverage for 2017. It will likely take months for Congress to act, and then it could be a year or more for the law to be phased out and replaced.

Brian Edmondson is graduating for college and getting married in 2017.

"So he can no longer be on my taxes and part of my health care," his mother, Victoria, said.

So Brian and his mother are shopping for health insurance for him on the marketplace. They're getting help from a navigator with the Johnson County Health Department.

"These guys here are fabulous," Edmondson said.

"Instead of talking to their neighbor or their cousin or somebody saying this is what I heard, get the facts," navigator Mary Taylor said.

Thursday is the deadline to get coverage if you want it to start Jan.1.  The final deadline for 2017 to avoid a tax penalty is Jan. 31. It increases to $695 or 2.5 percent of income, whichever is higher.

Navigators say interest in coverage is up.

"I think because of all the news coverage and the new president, people want to get enrolled and have insurance for 2017," Taylor said.

They know that in 2018, the Affordable Care Act likely won't exist, and what will replace it isn't known yet.

Edmondson is glad the law offers a subsidy to her son who works part-time.

"If it's based on how much money someone makes, that makes it easier for them to get health care and give them all a peace of mind," she said.

Brian found a bronze plan for about $30 a month with a deductible of $6,000.

Overall, premiums and deductibles are up, but the navigator reminds that many preventive health services, such as mammograms and vaccines, are included at no out-of-pocket cost.

To find a navigator in the metro, click here. To find a health insurance agent, click here.

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