The government may have shut down, but nearly one hundred people showed up at Greater Prince William Community Health Center on October 1 to find out about enrollment in the new health insurance marketplace.
Certified Assistance Counselors (CACs) stayed busy throughout the day providing education and enrollment assistance to individuals and families.
Interest in the marketplace was greater than expected. Both individuals and a large number of multi-generational families visited the Center to inquire about education and enrollment services. Phone lines stayed busy as counselors fielded a 15% increase in telephone call inquiries.
The day was not without glitches. The Internet portal, www.Healthcare.gov was down for much of the day due to unexpected high levels of demand. That did not stop enrollment processes in Woodbridge. Counselors assisted with paper applications and provided answers to questions.
For all of the day’s visitors, enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace offers new opportunities. For Paula Thornhill of Dumfries, the marketplace allows affordable coverage. She will no longer be uninsured, a big concern for the mother of infant, Serenity and son, Daniel. For another family, they are now able to receive coverage for an existing medical condition that was previously denied in coverage.
To help in understanding the enrollment process, the Health Center is hosting a series of three Virginia Marketplace Information Sessions open to the public on October 16, 21, and 28, 2013. The sessions begin at 6:30pm and will provide the public with a better understanding of the enrollment process, whether financial aid is available, and possible exemptions available to them. The public will also have an opportunity to tour the Center, meet the staff, and begin the enrollment process at each session.
The Certified Assistance Counselors provide free education and enrollment services to the public during open enrollment period from October 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014. Services include application completion, review of eligibility rules, and possible exemptions. The CACs speak both English and Spanish and are available daily from 8:00am – 4:30pm Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and from 8:00am – 7:00pm each Monday and Wednesday. For more efficient service, the public is requested to schedule a Marketplace appointment at 703.680.7950, Extension 3311, 3312, or 3219 or at info@GPWHealthCenter.org .
Enrollment in Virginia’s Health Insurance Marketplace is a new way to find affordable health coverage. Consumers can compare insurance policies and determine whether financial aid is available for themselves, their families, and their businesses.
The Health Center provides affordable access to integrated and coordinated primary, dental, behavioral, and OB-GYN services to the whole family under one roof at Ridgewood Center on Prince William Parkway. The Health Center also provides eligible patients with access to free transportation to/from their medical appointment, free prescription medications, specialty referrals, and insurance eligibility services. The Center provides its services to insured, uninsured, and underinsured individuals and families throughout Northern Virginia.
Additional information about the Health Center is at www.GPWHealthCenter.org. To schedule a medical or dental appointment, please call 703.680.7950.