Affordable Care Act enrollment begins

Published 10/01 2013 03:51PM

Updated 10/01 2013 07:07PM

Menasha, Wis. (WFRV)--October 1st was the first day people could begin signing up for health insurance through the Federal Marketplace.

With many people trying to log on the website was malfunctioning.

Other than having problems, getting on, no other issues arose.

“Everyone is covered”--that was the message today at Partnership Community Health Center in Menasha as day one of open enrollment began for the Affordable Care Act.

Trish Sarvela, the Development Dir. Partnership Community Health Center, said, “We want to make sure everyone is covered and there’s a source to continue and that there’s a source to keep our days open.”

450,000 people are uninsured in Wisconsin but that group will be required to purchase health insurance or face a penalty.

Partnership Community Health Center sees about 8,000 patients a year—many of whom are uninsured.

“This is a huge day for them to say I can finally do this, I’m finally eligible,” said Sarvela.

Individuals looking to purchase health insurance can now log onto to browse the various insurance plans.

The East-Central Wisconsin Regional Enrollment Network Coordinator, Kathryn Baez, said the website is easy to navigate.

“It’s not really hard, it really isn’t if you just sit down at the table and if you’re not completely knowledgeable of how to use a computer or the internet just have someone sit with you,” she said.

But while it may be straight forward, many people are still confused about what to do.

Hannah Kosgard, a Certified Application Counselor at the Partnership Community Health Center told Local 5 News she’s been swamped with phone calls.

“We went from getting about maybe 2 calls a day from people looking to make appointments to I think I had just 3 or 4 just in the last hour. I was there calling people back making them appointments so it’s going to be very busy,” Kosgard said.

She is one of five certified application counselors at the health center who can guide people through the process.  Anyone with questions can meet with them to talk about their options.

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