WU law students help fill tax returns, fight broken healthcare website

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)- Washburn University law students took time out of their day to help residents filed their 2014 tax returns.

The free Tax Clinic takes place Monday until 6 p.m. at the Washburn School of Law. Students are helping residents file their 2014 tax returns, the last day to do so is Tuesday. If the returns are not filed, low-income tax payers will lose their healthcare subsidy and possibly their health insurance through the Healthcare Marketplace as a result.

But it wasn’t all smooth sailing.

“One of the stages is we have to get onto healthcare.gov,” said Lori McMillan, professor of law, Washburn School of Law. “This is what we’re encountering while trying to help our clients.”

McMillan held up a computer screen that says that the Healthcare.gov “system is down at the moment, we’re working to resolve the issue as soon as possible.”

“Essentially because they need to have this information on file with the government by tomorrow, if it doesn’t happen there are real consequences for real people,” said McMillan.

McMillan says that messages were left with contact information to help the clients get their information filed.

When checked, the site was back up and running just before 1 p.m.

The last to sign up for Healthcare.gov marketplace coverage to start Jan. 1 is Dec. 15. The last day for open enrollment is Jan. 31.