Open Enrollment Begins For Affordable Health Care

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(Memphis) The online health insurance market places officially opened to the public today.

In Memphis, some more than others are ready to shop for the affordable insurance.

Eighteen federally funded navigators from across Tennessee began meeting with people who want to learn more about how to get started.

Angelia Cotton doesn't have health insurance and came to the main library to find out how to get it.

"All the information about where to go and when is the due date. It's a great program," said Cotton.

At the Memphis Health Center they were also trying to get the word out to patients with balloons, free popcorn and candy.

They were also trying encouraging patients to sign up with counselors.

Denee Williams wasn't waiting for help.

She went right to a computer to enroll.

"It was very easy. All you had to do was read a little bit and click a couple of links and find out what you need to know," said Williams.

Within the first hour, around fifty people had signed up to meet with Certified Application Counselors at the Memphis Health Center.

The health center has them trained and ready to go, but says the state is now requiring background checks before than get started.

That means it could be a two more weeks before they can meet with clients.

Christ Community Health Centers also must meet state requirements, but hopes to  have twenty counselors ready at its six locations sometime next week.

"We've already been getting several calls for weeks about the marketplace and how to get enrolled," said Amanda Chandler.

The Certified Application Counselors are being funded by the Department of Human Services.

More than 500,000 uninsured Tennesseans are eligible for the health insurance coverage.

Navigators with Seedco will be holding public information meetings Thursday from 4:30-5:30 at the Benjamin Hooks Central Library, on Tuesday, October 8 from 4-5pm at the Frayser Library, Wednesday, October 9 from 10:30-11:30am at the Frayser Library, Tuesday, October 22 from 5:30-6:30 at the Whitehaven Library,  and on Thursday, October 24 from 10:30-11:30am at the Whitehaven Library.

To enroll in the insurance program, click here, or for more information call 1-800-318-2596. Operators are available 24 hours a day to answer questions.

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