Navigators in Indiana have reported a high volume of calls after the federal health care exchange went online today.
The health care marketplaces are meant to be a one-stop shop for uninsured Americans to purchase health insurance. The federal government’s marketplace website directs Hoosiers to local navigators, people trained by the federal and state government to guide people through the insurance application process.
Julia Holloway, who runs the navigator program for Affiliated Service Providers of Indiana, says the most common question is about the enrollment period, with many people worried they have to enroll now.
“They have until March 31st, so we reassure people and I know people have had a real sense of relief to hear that it’s not such a short period of time, that they’ve got some time to think about it,” Holloway says.
Holloway says her organization is also involved in community outreach. Indiana Hospital Association Vice President Brian Tabor says it’s largely groups like his and Holloway’s that will spread the word about the marketplace.
“The Hospital Association in conjunction with many other groups – provider groups, consumer advocacy groups – we’ve been actually speaking weekly to touch base, share resources, talk about how we can leverage each other’s efforts to get the word out,” he says.
Tabor says he also expects to see marketing from the private insurance companies that offer insurance plans in the marketplace.