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North Carolina’s well-organized, grass-roots effort to enroll the uninsured has attracted national attention for its effectiveness despite decisions by state lawmakers to resist implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

Despite a disastrous rollout for the Affordable Care Act, a surge of Americans enrolled in health insurance as Monday’s deadline approached.

Student-athletes from Charlotte-area high schools can get free athletic screenings, with extra attention to undetected heart problems, on four Saturdays in May and June.

Assistance with enrollment in health insurance through the federal Affordable Care Act’s online marketplace will be available at two events in Charlotte this weekend. Navigators and other counselors will be available to answer questions and assist with applications on a first-come, first-served basis.

For a future article in the Observer, we would like to interview people who have decided not to buy health insurance despite the “individual mandate” in the Affordable Care Act and are choosing to pay the penalty instead. We are especially looking for people in their late 20s, 30s and 40s, the so-called “young invincibles,” who may forego insurance because they think they don’t need it. If you’re willing to be quoted by name and perhaps have your photograph published in the paper, please contact Health Reporter Karen Garloch at

Despite a horrendous roll out, about 4 million people nationwide had signed up by the first of February, incuding more than 150,000 in North Carolina, the fifth-highest among states.

Patient alert: If you’re going to your doctor for an annual preventive exam and expect it to be covered 100percent by your insurance company, think again.

Consumers who need help enrolling in health insurance under the Affordable Care Act can get face-to-face help from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Children & Family Services Center, 601 E. Fifth St., Charlotte.

Blue Cross said Wednesday it will now offer family coverage for same-sex couples and unmarried couples, and will also extend the benefit to small businesses for the first time.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield is canceling individual health insurance policies that North Carolina same-sex couples bought under the Affordable Care Act. The state’s biggest insurer says its individual policies were approved for sale by state regulators with technical language defining “spouse” as “same sex.”

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