Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley and several U.S. Department of Health and Human Services officials were at the Dayton Job Center Tuesday to promote the next round of open enrollment into the Federal Health Insurance Marketplace.
Whaley told reporters there are two big reasons the uninsured need to take advantage of the open enrollment periods.
“Number one, it’s the law, so you need to be enrolled,” the Mayor said. “And secondly it's a way to make sure you’re healthy, that you can get access to doctors when you’re sick, should you have an accident we need to make sure that have insurance.”
Health and Human Services Region 5 director, Kathleen Falk, says nationwide 17.6 million people have gained health insurance through the Affordable Care Act so far, but their goal is to see another 10 million uninsured signed up in this period.
“We know that about half are between the ages of 18 and 34. We know that about 4 out 10 are between about a 100 and two hundred-fifty percent of the federal poverty level. That’s about, for a family of four earning about $30 to $60 thousand a year. So we know they’re working but they’re just making it,” she said.
Enroll America is a non-profit agency set up to maximize enrollment in the marketplace. State Director Trey Daly say misinformation and worries over affordability are the two big concerns for those who have still not signed up for mandated health insurance.
He said, “They haven’t enrolled yet because they think they can’t afford coverage but they don’t know about the great financial assistance that’s available to help them pay those premiums for the private health insurance or the free Medicaid Program.”
About 10,000 Montgomery county residents signed up in the marketplace last year. Statewide in Ohio more than 200,000 signed up.
Daly said Ohio is putting the team in place that will help them reach the enrollment goals that Falk laid out, and that was the second purpose behind Tuesday’s job center event—to outline those goals to healthcare navigators working in the city of Dayton and prepare them for the enrollment period which runs November 1st through January 31st.