Obamacare Patrons Navigating Enrollment Challenges
November 25, 2013 — This weekend brings the two-month mark since the start of Affordable Care Act, and a local health agency says some Hoosiers still need a new health insurance plan. Navigators are helping people manage a challenging enrollment process.
Affordable health care is available, and local experts say the problem is not demand; Lauren Lamb says it’s about understanding, “It’s not been a lot of information out there to know what the difference is and so they want to know, what is it and how does it affect me, so yeah, people are very confused out there.”
So, Lamb and health care navigators with HealthLinc are ready to help confused, uninsured Hoosiers sign up for coverage under the federal Affordable Care Act, helping people such as Joann Schmidt, “Well, I’ve had a lot of confusion because right now, I’m unemployed. So, I need to know what category that puts me in.”
Schmidt is a consumer the Affordable Care Act seeks to assist. November figures from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services show a little more than 100,000 people have enrolled in the health insurance marketplace.
Health experts hope hosting registration clinics will boost enrollment interest in Indiana, which ranks 41st in health, according to the United Health Foundation.
Schmidt knows the need for enrollment, “God forbid I need to go to the hospital, who is going to cover me? You know, I don’t want to rely on my parents because they are on a fixed income, and it’s very costly for hospital healthcare now. So, to have this, hopefully it will help me. I’d feel better at ease. My mind would be better at ease. So will my parents.”
The need is steady.
Lamb says, in addition to enrollment sessions, HealthLinc receives 80 calls per day from local Hoosiers.
By Hilary Powell