This week we’re taking a look at changes to Indiana's health care system under the Affordable Care Act. Now that the exchange is up and running, we’ll look at what resources are availble to help consumers sign-up for exchanges, and navigate the new system.
Exchange plans are intended for people who either don’t have a job, or an affordable insurance option from their employer.
There are lots of resources available to help you understand the basics of the health care exchange in Indiana. FAQ’s, an online chat system, and a call center are all available online at the federal website healthcare.gov.
And as far as finding the plan best suited for you, there are people specifically trained to walk you through it.
Sophie Metzger is one such navigator at the Maple City Health Care Center in Goshen, Indiana. She educates people and helps them sign up for coverage. She’s gone through extensive training on the health care law, because on top of the federal requirements to become a certified application counselor, Indiana has required state-specific qualifications.
She says when people come to her for help, she starts with the basics.
Metzger says “[first I have to] be able to give some general vocabulary, conceptual parameters to what health care coverage is. And then move to look at the specific situation. Say today we can find out information, or if you’re interested we can start setting up an account to look at what coverage options you may have specific to you.”
So far because of website issues, she hasn’t yet been able to go through the whole process of signing someone up for the exchange, but she says she’s helped a number of people get prepared.
There are currently no organizations or individuals listed as certified assisters in the Fort Wayne area. But a number of organizations have begun the certification process. You can always check healthcare.gov to see when these resources become available. And remember the open enrollment period for the health care exchange lasts until March 31st.