Indiana Health Insurance Marketplace Opens
October 2, 2013 –Federal health insurance marketplaces are up and running around the country Tuesday. As Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Brandon Smith reports, navigators here in Indiana are reporting a high volume of calls as Hoosiers seek information about a key portion of the Affordable Care Act:
The healthcare marketplaces are meant to be a one-stop shop for uninsured Americans to purchase health insurance. The federal government’s marketplace website – healthcare-dot-gov – directs Hoosiers to local navigators, people trained by the federal and state government to guide consumers through the insurance application process. Julia Holloway runs the navigator program for Affiliated Service Providers of Indiana, a non-profit group. She says the most common question is about the enrollment period…with many people worried they have to enroll now.
“They have until March 31st, so we reassure people and I know people have had a real sense of relief to hear that it’s not such a short period of time, that they’ve got some time to think about it.”
Holloway says her organization is also involved in community outreach. Indiana Hospital Association Vice President Brian Tabor says it’s largely groups like his and Holloway’s that will spread the word about the marketplace:
“The Hospital Association in conjunction with many other groups – provider groups, consumer advocacy groups – we’ve been actually speaking weekly to touch base, share resources, talk about how we can leverage each other’s efforts to get the word out.”
Tabor says he also expects to see marketing from the private insurance companies that offer insurance plans in the marketplace. For Indiana Public Broadcasting, I’m Brandon Smith.