Awareness Poses Challenge for Affordable Care Act

Nov 12, 2014

Credit healthcare.gov

Those who assist people sign up for insurance through the Affordable Care Act are preparing for the upcoming open enrollment period. Efforts are going towards awareness and education in Allen County.

The so-called navigators at the Neighborhood Health Clinic in Fort Wayne are optimistic about this year’s open enrollment period for the insurance marketplace, often referred to as Obamacare.

But most uninsured Hoosiers don’t know that the sign-up date is around the corner. Many who do -  still don’t know how the marketplace works.

So the clinic is working on outreach – direct mailings, partnering with apartment complexes, and making themselves available at weekly sessions.

One of this week’s attendees was a middle aged man with a family of three. Enrollment Coordinator Cathy Pollick told him that based on his income, he will be eligible for price subsidies if he signs up for a plan.

“It’s a complicated thing, when they first said they were gonna try to get universal insurance," says the attendee, "I didn’t think there’d be so many strings attached to it.”

People can sign up for plans on their own, navigators are best for helping with the application process, then helping to decipher all the options. But still, many people seeking insurance are overwhelmed.

“It is not an easy process but there is a lot assistance available," says Pollick. 

The man they saw plans to do some window shopping on healthcare.gov, and he left the clinic with an appointment to come back next week for help with the application process.

Open enrollment starts on Saturday.