CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Holiday shopping isn't the only thing people want to check off their list this season; they also need to buy health insurance.
Although open enrollment for the health insurance marketplace ends March 31, people must purchase insurance by Monday to have coverage by the beginning of next year.
"I think you will see a significant uptick of people getting coverage by Monday," said Perry Bryant, executive director of West Virginians for Affordable Health Care.
"You'll see even greater uptick toward the end of March ... There should have been large enrollment at the beginning, but since they couldn't get through, that didn't happen."
Anyone who meets the deadline will then have until Jan. 10 to make the first premium payment.
People may sign up for Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program at any time. Plus, there are special enrollment periods available for births, marriages, deaths or the loss of a job. For these special circumstances, people have 60 days to change their policy.
Open enrollment took off to a rocky start Oct. 1, with many people unable to get through the system.
State officials learned in a meeting earlier this month that many of the problems had been fixed.
Fred Earley, president of Highmark West Virginia, the only provider in the state participating in the exchange, previously told the Daily Mail that remaining problems were on both the consumers' and company's ends.
The company was receiving bad information on its end, like what types of plans had been purchased and whether the consumer qualified for subsidies, he said.
Bryant said the federal website is much improved but still not perfect.
"We are getting reports of people going through from start to end and getting enrolled with no blockages or errors or anything," he said.
"One thing I keep hearing is people are having problems proving who they are with the ID questions. They've added a redo button so if you have that problem, you have to start all over again, but at least you can wipe everything out from the beginning again."