Monday, Dec 9, 2013
Insurance Enrollees Have Options for Sign Up Help
MARION -- If you need help enrolling for insurance on a Healthcare Exchange, there are a few other ways to sign up besides trying to manage the glitch-plagued website.
Assistors at community health centers and hospitals across southern Illinois are being trained to guide people through the Obamacare enrollment process.
Another option is somebody many people may have dealt with in the past. Insurance brokers are ready to help with enrollment.
Insurance is Jamie Simmons business.
"This is what we're trained to do and we do on a daily basis," said Simmons.
As the Affordable Care Act takes effect, the Marion broker has been going through hours of course-work for the new insurance exchange and the companies it features.
"Certified with the individual carriers that we represent," said Simmons.
Simmons has run into the same technical issues on the healthcare website as everyone else.
"I've gotten to a point where I can set up an account, but that's as far as I can get," said Simmons.
Even with the glitches, he's found a way to help the first few people who've stopped by his office. Simmons shows them the options and prices on carrier websites, like Blue Cross and Health Alliance . He can also help them estimate how much of a subsidy they'll receive.
"I think that's what a lot of people are looking for," said Simmons. "What is it gonna cost me?"
Some who will pay the full cost can sign up directly with insurance companies. However, those who are eligible for help paying their premiums will have to wait for the exchange to work.
"We can see the plans, we can see the rates," said Simmons. "Then when we go to the marketplace, the Healthcare.gov website is where we're getting hung up."
Still, Simmons believes that having at least information will put some people at ease. That allows them to do research and look over the plans. They can then sign up closer to the deadline.
"Obviously as time goes, it's going to get more and more critical for people to get enrolled or they're going to get that fine and penalties," said Simmons.
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