Local health care advocates and insurance navigators are warning people that if they haven’t signed up for Obamacare yet, they’re running out of time.
Any adults not currently covered through work, their parents, Medicaid or Medicare needs to sign up by March 31st or they’ll have to wait until the next open enrollment period begins in October. Currently the marketplace run by New York State has enrolled 500,000 people, well on its way to a goal of 1.1 million in three years. Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo says the state is leading the way nationally.
“We understood the importance of this. We got together with a lot of advocates in one place, discussed the importance of establishing the network which we did. And we are moving forward,” said Lupardo.
Advocates stress the importance of not procrastinating too long. It sometimes takes a while to schedule an appointment with a navigator and to secure all of the necessary paperwork. Ted Rodgers, owner of a small constructioncompany, was assisted by Brendan O’Bryan a navigator with the Greater Binghamton Chamber.
“It was just a pleasure working with Brendan. He made everything easy,” said Rogers. “I’m not a paperwork guy but he assisted me and it just made everything go smooth. As of now, it’s starting April 1st that I’m covered. It was just a fantastic thing to have it work out.”
Other local navigators are at the Mothers and Babies Perinatal Network in Binghamton, B.U.’s Small Business Development Center and a group called the Young Invincibles.