WEAR - Search Results
Affordable Care Act deadline aproaches
If you're not covered by health insurance, you have one week to get some, or you'll have to pay a penalty.
The Affordable Care Act deadline is March 31st.
The annual penalty for the uninsured is 95 dollars, or one per cent of your income, whichever is more.
Around five million people have bought policies through the federal or state "Marketplace" programs.
If you have insurance through your work or from another program, like Medicaid, you meet the requirement.
If you need help applying and enrolling for the Affordable Care Coverage, several local non profit groups have trained enrollment specialists on hand to guide you through the process, for free.
Channel Three's Kathryn Daniel takes us to meet two of them.
Social worker Bobbie Huffman is planning on a lot of long hours this week.
She's already helped hundreds of people apply and enroll for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act since October.
Huffman says folks are pouring into the Escambia Community Clinic searching for answers and guidance.
She says many are confused about whether or not they actually qualify.
"What I'm running into are people who have no income, do not have a job and did not file taxes thinking they would be eligible for this."
"Eleven thousand, four hundred ninety, per year."))
That's at least how much you must make to qualify for coverage -- a fact social worker Amy Wells also has to pass onto potential enrollees.
Wells works for the Epilepsy Foundation of Florida...She took a 21 hour course to become a certified navigator.
"We applied for a grant and we were one of eight agencies throughout Florida who received the grant."
Wells says many folks come in for help overwhelmed at even the idea of the process...She, like Huffman, walks them through it step by step, at no charge.
They say it usually takes between 45 minutes to 2 hours to complete the online application.
"The website has gotten better. It's more user friendly now."
Huffman says there is a special group of seniors that she's trying to reach in particular.
"Those are people who are getting their social benefits at 62, they may not have Medicare until they are 65."
Both women say more people are relieved than frustrated at the end of the process.
Wells says one young man -- and his reaction -- stand out.
"We finally were able to enroll him and he was so excited to have health care coverage for the first time ever."
Both agencies are still taking appointments to help people enroll.
You can call the Escambia Community Clinics at 850-436-4630.
The Epilepsy Foundation of Florida's local office is on Fairfielld Drive in Pensacola, you can reach them at 850-433-1395.
Again, their help is free of charge.