Locals get help on new online healthcare marketplace

Locals get help on new online health care marketplace
(Source: Southwest Louisiana Area Health Education Center)
(Source: Southwest Louisiana Area Health Education Center)

BEAUREGARD PARISH, LA (KPLC) - The online healthcare marketplace is a new way of getting insured. Aside from all the error messages and glitches, President Obama reassured us that the new market will be up and running.

"There's no excuse for the problems," said President Obama. "These problems are getting fixed."

The Southwest Louisiana Area Health Education Center is taking an extra step to get people informed. The program teamed up with the Beauregard Parish Library and provided locals with navigators.

Program director, Brian Burton, said navigators are available to help people browse the new health insurance market online and answer any questions users may have.

"They're out there providing community education," said Burton. "They have a kind of a captive audience of people that are trying to get as much information as they can about how the Affordable Care Act works and how it'll affect them."

The program provides free enrollment assistance for various parishes. Locals in Southwest Louisiana can set up appointments with one of the navigators to work with them one-on-one. Burton said now is the most important time to help.

"We know there are a lot of people entering the health insurance market for the very first time," said Burton. "So, sometimes, we have to bring it down to some very elementary levels. So, that's what they're out there doing."

Burton also said with so much emphasis on dates and deadlines for locals to be insured, he's suggesting they take their time to find out what works best.

"If you want to have insurance in place by Jan. 1," said Burton. "You need to have enrolled by Dec. 15. So, let's take the time while the government gets all of the glitches fixed in the system to be as educated as we can."

The Southwest Louisiana Area Health Education Center serves 13 parishes including Lafayette, St. Landry, St.Martin and Vermilion. To find out more information on how to set up an appointment with a navigator in your parish, CLICK HERE.

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