(Memphis) Shutdown or no shutdown, the health-insurance exchange will be open for business Tuesday in Memphis.
The goal will be signing up more than 140,000 uninsured in Shelby County for coverage.
In a pep rally of sorts on Monday, Memphis Mayor A C Wharton encouraged people to sign up for health insurance.
“We have 88,000 folks inside the city limits who are uninsured,” he said.
He hoped to target young people because the Affordable Health Care Law won’t work without them.
“The healthy folks and the young folks will hopefully not consume that much of healthcare, and that will spread the cost for those who do,” he said. “It is critical to make it work.”
Many of the young ones appeared overwhelmed.
“I must say that it is a bit confusing,” Dante Bonilla, 18, said.
To help, there’s a 1-800 number and a list local agents, including Seedco, Community Development Council, Porter-Leath, and the Tennessee Community Services Agency.
“Regardless what happens with the shut-down, the marketplace will open, the hotline will open , and we are going to continue doing our work,” Seedco Vice President Lisa Pote said.
Critics predict the insurance won’t be as affordable as billed, but people who aren’t insured like Frances Barber are hoping they’re wrong.
“I don’t have any insurance. With my job I do have insurance but its not affordable because they keep going up and my hours keep going down,” she said.”I’m just trying to learn how to afford something for myself.
Starting at midnight, she can go online to www.healthcare.gov and find out.
If you are uninsured, you too need to find insurance.
“It is mandatory that you get covered,” Wharton said.
Because like it or not, for now it’s the law.
The helpline, 800-318-2596, is available 24/7 and can provide assistance in 150 languages.
Enrollment Assistance Information Centers:
Community Development Council
TN Community Services Agency