Group ramps up effort to enroll uninsured Alabamians - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Group ramps up effort to enroll uninsured Alabamians

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BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

Two hundred sixty thousand uninsured Alabamians are now eligible for coverage under the new healthcare law, according to Enroll Alabama. Enroll Alabama is a statewide group charged with the task of helping people sign up for a plan through the federal health insurance market place.

"We've been using paper applications since the website has been down. But we've had a tremendous response. Our phone is constantly ringing," explained Lauren Banks with Enroll Alabama.

Despite problems with the marketplace website, healthcare.gov, Banks says they've managed to sign up more than 200 people since enrollment opened on October 1st.

Saturday morning Enroll Alabama held information events statewide. Team members were at Avondale park in Birmingham until noon. Banks says their staff is trained to answer any questions about the new law. She says many people have called in asking about pre-existing conditions and how it affects eligibility.

"For a lot of people who have had pre existing conditions, they still don't believe they can get health insurance.  We have people who are willing to pay but they be just been excluded from the health insurance market," explained Banks.

Banks says she's noticed a lot of confusion over the individual mandate that, under the new healthcare law, says people must have health insurance.

"Many people don't know that you can qualify for an exemption. So if you absolutely cannot afford insurance of any kind, you can write for an exemption and that is a possibility."

Enroll Alabama will continue its statewide efforts though the end of the enrollment period in March and even beyond for people with special circumstances. Banks says their team will accommodate to individuals' schedules to provide help.  

 "We'll meet you where you can. If you can only meet in the evening, then we'll meet in the evenings. If you can only meet in the weekend, then we'll meet you in the weekend."

Anyone with questions for Enroll Alabama or to make an appointment call 205-918-8192 or visit EnrollAla.com.

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