BOISE -- A very important deadline for Idahoans is fast approaching, and if you wait it will cost you.

There were some snarls and kinks in the online health insurance exchange application process at first, but now Your Health Idaho reports everything is smooth sailing.

We are actually happy that we got the state based exchange and we were able to make this happen, said Director of Communications Jody Olson.

KTVB spoke with Olson by phone Sunday, while she was in Idaho Falls helping with another open enrollment sign up event.

Her biggest suggestion as we approach the March 31st deadline is to not wait.

Because sometimes the website needs to process and it may take anywhere between 24 and 72 hours so don t wait until the end, said Olson.

She also wants to remind those shopping for a healthcare plan that they don t have to navigate the process alone.

There is no reason if somebody is confused or afraid to go through this by themselves there is no reason a person in Idaho has to do that, she said.

More events to help folks get signed up will take place again on Saturday, March 22nd in Boise, Nampa and even Coeur d Alene.

The process is going well, according to Olson. That is because the most recent numbers show over 43,000 Idahoans have nailed down a health plan. On top of that, 30,000 are sitting in the queue with an application in the works.

So are those numbers good?

Olson said Your Health Idaho never set a goal but the Congressional Budget Office did for each state. They set a goal of over 40,000 people to sign up for the first open enrollment, and currently Idaho is above that goal.

That goal was reached all while the struggles to get the website up and going took place, in the beginning of the process.

Even though we needed to rely on the federal application when it was not working we were able to respond to the needs of Idahoans we were able to get plans on our website, said Olson. We were able to get an Idaho specific cost calculator we were able to mobilize our agents and brokers and assistors throughout the state to get information out.

Olson said if you don t join the March 31st open enrollment you have to wait until the next open enrollment period deadline which is November 15th.

Waiting will cost you and your family, because the charge $95 per person and $45 per child, or 1% of your household income, whichever is greater. Those numbers will go up every year after.

The next Treasure Valley open enrollment events take place on March 22nd at 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. at Saint Alphonsus Medical Center in Nampa in the Fall Conference Room and in Boise at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center on Curtis Road in the McCleary Auditorium.

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