Open enrollment for healthcare under the Affordable Care Act ended Friday unless you, like many in the Coastal Bend, were affected by Hurricane Harvey.

Coastal Bend residents have had a lot on their place since Hurricane Harvey, and for many, renewing their health insurance has been put on the backburner. For them, the deadline to apply for health insurance is Dec. 31.

In the all, the extension for those affected by Harvey gives three more weeks to apply under the Affordable Care Act. However, you will have to do so without the help of a healthcare navigator.

"Please just find out what your options are," Navigator Project Manager Christina Buttler said. "A lot of people are just, especially with the administration these days, they think, 'Oh I don't need that. It's not going to affect me,' but the truth of the matter is that accidents happen and you don't know what tomorrow, what you're going to face tomorrow."

The process must be done over the phone and if you're not approved, there may be other healthcare options.

Butler encourages everyone to apply and get insured because you just never know when you could be facing an expensive hospital stay, and without insurance, you will incur a $695 tax penalty.

The phone number to apply is 1-800-318-2596, or you can visit

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