Local Resources for Navigating Affordable Care Act

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MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) - Three weeks after the botched rollout of Healthcare.gov, the Obamacare website where Americans in 36 states can shop for private insurance, President Obama on Monday acknowledged the website "is not working the way it should for everybody -- there's no sugar-coating it."

At the same time, Mr. Obama adamantly defended the Affordable Care Act, noting that the health care law is "not just a website."

"The essence of the law -- the health insurance that is available to people -- is working just fine," the president said from the White House Rose Garden, flanked by citizens who have benefited from the Affordable Care Act or are helping people to sign up for insurance through the law.

There is a tab located near the bottom of Healthcare.gov prompting people to 'get in-person help' in their community.

When searching by zip code, a search yields up to 20 locations in north Alabama that host healthcare 'navigators' to help people with everything from questions to application and enrollment.

In the Huntsville/Madison County area alone the healthcare navigator locations are as follows:

Address: 751 Pleasant Row
Huntsville, AL 35816
Phone: (256) 533-6311 (main)

Address: 110 Clinic Street
New Market, AL 35761
Phone: (256) 533-6311

Address: One Hospital Drive SW
Huntsville, AL 35801
Phone: (800) 353-1380 (main)

Address: 600 Saint Clair Avenue, Building 6, Suite 14
Huntsville, AL 35801
Phone: (256) 536-4700 (main)

The AIDS Action Coalition office in Huntsville is one of several locations in north Alabama hosting healthcare navigators; assistants trained for 20 hours to handle anything and everything about the 'new healthcare marketplace.'

"You just need to call and make an appointment because they are one-on-one meetings with a navigator," says AAC CEO Mary Elizabeth Marr. "We wouldn't want anybody to just show up and us not be able to assist them that day."

The AAC will host a healthcare open enrollment fair on Saturday, November 2 that will feature several navigators and last from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Crestwood Medical Center in Huntsville.

Meeting Tuesday

State Representative Laura Hall will host a Healthcare Town Hall Tuesday, October 22 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Richard Showers Center at 4600 Blue Spring Road in Huntsville.
Several community representatives will be in attendance to help answer questions and to assist with Affordable Care sign-up opportunities. Representatives to be in attendance are as follows:
  • Mary Elizabeth Marr, AIDS Action Coalition
  • Dr. Pippa Abston, Pediatrician
  • Dr. Celia Lloyd Turney, Physician
  • Jerry Mitchell, Director NAAACC
  • Carlton Pyfrom, Central North Alabama Health Care
The Madison County Chamber of Commerce has put on two affordable healthcare workshops since September and are gearing up to present yet another event in early November. The workshop will feature keynote speaker Michael Velezis, a member of the executive council of Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Alabama. Small business event director Pammie Jimmar says while the workshop is geared toward business owners, anyone is welcome.
The chamber of commerce healthcare workshop called "The New Marketplace Is Open: What Small Businesses Can Expect" will take place November 13 from 7:30 to 9 p.m. with registration starting at 7 p.m. at the chamber. The registration fee for chamber members is $10. There is a $20 dollar fee for non-members.