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Deadline Approaching To Enroll In Md. Health Exchange

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Rochelle Ritchie joined WJZ Eyewitness News in June 2012. Prio...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — There are just a few hours left to enroll in private health insurance through the Maryland Health Connection.

Rochelle Ritchie has more on the mayor’s mission to get as many people enrolled as possible.

It’s all a part of the Affordable Care Act. Just under 45,000 people in Maryland are part of the millions that have already registered, but time is running out.

It’s been four years since President Obama signed into law the Affordable Care Act with one goal in mind–to lower the rate of Americans without health care by expanding private and public insurance.

“In the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one should go broke just because they get sick,” the president said.

The law has certainly come with plenty of backlash. But those who have signed up, it’s been a chance at a life they couldn’t otherwise afford.

“Just this past Wednesday, my mother begged me to come over to her home and sit down and talk to a health care navigator. I spoke with him for about an hour. By the time I got up from the table, I had health insurance, vision and dental insurance for only $21 a month,” said Robert Hardy.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake says many Baltimore residents have gone without quality health care for far too long.

“When do you think about this, Baltimore, the home of arguably the best medical care in the world, and we have people in our communities who don’t have access to even the basic affordable health care,” the mayor said.

According to the website HealthCare.gov, six million people have signed up for Obamacare–more than 44,000 of those are from Maryland.

“Until this came in the mail, I didn’t believe that I was insured. This is my CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield card,” Barbara Gruber said.

Because the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act was shaky, President Obama extended the deadline to enroll to mid-April. Residents in Maryland have one day left to get on board through the Maryland Health Connection.

“There are people that can help them sign up. They’re not in it alone. Whether they know how to use a computer or not, it should not matter. They have access and we have access,” Mayor Rawlings-Blake said.

Enrollment ends Monday.

People can sign up online at any time before the deadline.

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