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      Deadline quickly approaching to enroll for healthcare

      The deadline to enroll in affordable healthcare is March 31st.

      For those who don't plan on getting insured, you and your family could face a monetary fine, and the penalty fee will only continue to increase over the next couple of years.

      However, according to the Associated Press, the Obama administration will allow some people more time to complete their enrollment if they started the process of applying before the March 31st deadline.

      Regional Administrator with Small Business Administration Yolanda Olivares said it is particularly important to get insured especially in the Rio Grande Valley.

      "If they don TMt meet the deadline they've lost the opportunity to have and to have coverage of affordable health care," Olivares said.

      Tuesday, numerous people showed up at the Brownsville Mexican Consulate to get help enrolling.

      Enroll America Field Organizer Jose Medrano told Action 4 news that ultimately, it's the consumer's decision to be insured or not, but be aware as there are penalties.

      If you remain uninsured past the deadline, when 2015 rolls around, each adult will be fined $95 and each uninsured child $47.50.

      "One out of four Latino is uninsured so for them to have the possibility to have insurance for almost the same cost as the penalty you certainly want to get insurance," Medrano said. "It's very important for the community to know that in 2016, for not having engaged in 2015 that fine that was $95 per adult increase to $695. Even if you pay the fine, you will still be left uninsured.

      He said it's so important to inform the public because there are many options and opportunities available to them.

      "The community is fully armed and aware of what the consequences are, but aware more importantly of what the benefits are. The benefits are awesome. If you have any pre-existing conditions, you cannot be denied for any of the plans," Medrano said.

      Olivares agreed that's what is most important, taking care of one's family's health and well-being.

      "It's less of a worry to them. The burden of getting a severe disease and then that could have been a financial ruin for a family," said Olivares.

      We spoke to people who enrolled in the affordable healthcare at the heath fair, they said having counselors answer questions and walk them through the process was a big help.

      For assistance with your application, you can call Jose with Get Covered America at 551-1657 or visit