EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSWith Website Woes, Other Options Encouraged For Healthcare Enrollment
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Kera Mashek
Web Producer: Kera Mashek
Reported: Oct. 22, 2013 9:33 PM EDT
Updated: Oct. 23, 2013 11:38 AM EDT
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
Thousands of Americans have encountered challenges in trying to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act using the federal website healthcare.gov. That's why some local groups are trying to help people get signed up other ways.
West Virginia Free is a healthcare advocacy group in Charleston is trying to educate people about enrolling in the ACA. It's even been sending volunteers door-to-door with information.
If you do have problems applying for coverage online, you can print out and mail the application for the expanded Medicaid option. There's also the toll free phone number you can call (1-800-318-2596).
But West Virginia Free is encouraging people mostly to visit what are called healthcare navigators and assisters, who are available at a number of locations across the state to meet with you in-person and go through the application process.
"We've seen a lot of interest and it's just directing them in the right way. We definitely haven't had too much success with the website, and people are much more comfortable getting help via a person that, you know, is in their community. So that way you can compare plans, prices, premiums, and then also be aware of which tax credits you might qualify for so it is actually affordable for you and your family," said Rachel Huff, West Virginia Free education and outreach director.
Right now, huff says one of the best places to go for help with the Medicaid expansion is your county DHHR office.
In about a week, both Thomas Memorial and St. Francis hospitals will have a healthcare navigator on staff.
It's hoped navigators and in-person assisters will alleviate some of the high web traffic volume, and get you access to the new available healthcare options.
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