When people came to the Monroe County Public Library on Tuesday night with concerns about the future of Barack Obama’s health care law, they were told to sign up for health insurance anyway and the future of the program would be safe at least through 2017.
The city of Bloomington sponsored a free health event to help people sign up for “Obamacare” or other state-sponsored plans, depending on their needs, and to answer questions about the health care marketplace.
Trained navigators were armed with laptops and informational pamphlets and set up behind tables around the room at 5 p.m. The job of the navigators was to help attendees pick the plan best for them, fill out applications and answer any questions they have before the Jan. 31 enrollment deadline.
Navigators came from one of the several organizations, including Affiliated Service Providers of Indiana Navigators, IU Health Individual Solutions, and South Central Community Action Program’s Covering Kids and Families, co-sponsoring the event.
Katie Rodriguez and Hannah Watt are outreach and enrollment specialists for SCCAP and worked a table together at the event.
With the future of “Obamacare” looking unsure under the new administration, people may be wary of signing up for health care, Rodriguez said. However, she also said people should still sign up and take advantage of health insurance currently available.
“2017 is a go no matter what,” Rodriguez said, referring to the immediate future of the healthcare program.
Nancy Woolery, who organized the event, said she has received calls from people asking if they should even come to the event, and she told them all the same thing: just enroll.
“For them to replace something, it’s going to take some time. It’s not going to happen overnight,” she said.
Talking about the possibility of an “Obamacare” repeal, Rodriguez said SCCAP has been around since 1999 to offer guidance on health insurance.
According to Watt, SCAAP is available year round to answer questions, troubleshoot and help people who have gone through recent life changes find plans to fit their new needs.
“If there’s a specific event in your life, like if you turn 26 and get kicked off your parents’ insurance, we can help you sign up,” Watt said.
Watt said they have no income guidelines and they are available to everyone, even students.
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