Sunday is the deadline to get insured under the Affordable Care Act on healthcare.gov, and several health care organizations are hosting navigation sites across the state.
Iowa’s Insurance Division lists dozens of events where consumers who need to sign up for health insurance can meet with a health care navigator. Karen Sullivan, with Visiting Nurse Services of Iowa, is seeing an uptick in demand for help.
Sullivan says, “Now, with the open enrollment period being compacted into a 3-month period versus last year (when) it was a 6-month period, I just think that people need help and they are calling our number to ask for assistance.” Iowans who don’t get health insurance through an employer and want to take full advantage of health care subsidies can meet with the navigators for free, though Sullivan encourages people to call ahead and make an appointment.
“Last year, we had a longer season for open enrollment,” she says, “and so I think the demand was there but it wasn’t as urgent.” Sullivan specifically encourages those thousands of Iowans insured by the failed CoOportunity Health, who have not sorted out their health care coverage, to make an appointment. She says there’s a high demand for navigators in Polk County, home to the state’s largest population.
She also notes a strong demand in Cerro Gordo County, which includes Mason City and Clear Lake.