Nonprofit groups in rural Nebraska say they're ready to start enrolling residents in the new health-insurance marketplace, despite the vast areas they have to cover.
Churches, libraries, food banks and other organizations are helping to spread the word that the Marketplace will open Tuesday, Oct. 1 for a six-month enrollment period as part of the Affordable Care Act.
The largest nonprofit, Community Action of Nebraska, plans to have 62 insurance "navigators" hired and trained to help with enrollment at its local offices throughout the state.
Meredith Collins, of Community Action Partnership of Mid-Nebraska, says her organization has held public meetings in McCook and North Platte. The group has hired a full-time insurance navigator to enroll consumers, and trained staff in five of its 27 counties.
According to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, other Nebraska organizations prepared to help residents with open enrollment include:
These organizations will use publicly available materials from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services – both digital and in print – to help members of their communities understand their new options through the Marketplace.
More information can be found at HealthCare.gov or by calling the Marketplace consumer call center at 1-800-318-2596, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.