HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — The final hours to sign up for private insurance coverage through ObamaCare brought a flood of last minute shoppers, putting strain on the online exchange and causing frustration.
More than 6 million people have signed up for private insurance coverage as of late last week and HealthCare.gov received more than two million visitors over the weekend, according to the White House.
Monday afternoon, dozens of people worked with health care navigators over at Calhoun Community College trying to get signed up in the last few hours of open enrollment.
Russ Barnwell is the regional director for Bama Covered, a non-profit group working to get people signed up for Obamacare.
Barnwell says about 75 percent of the people coming to him for help are falling in a gap between not making enough money to qualify for insurance and making too much money to qualify for Medicaid.
“There’s a lot of working poor people in Alabama who just don’t make enough money to go into the marketplace but they would have been getting Medicaid,” Barnwell said.
Barnwell says he deals with people who are classified in that gap often. Alabama is one of the states that didn’t expand Medicaid when given the option.
Governor Robert Bentley chose not to expand Medicaid because he says while the federal government would cover the initial cost of the expansion, it would eventually fall on the state to cover the tab and he says the state just doesn’t have the money.
*Consumers who attempt to sign up on the final day of enrollment but experience technical problems will be given a few additional days to complete the process, administration official said.
Those counties with the appropriate contact information to enlist a navigator’s help are below.
DeKalb, Jackson and Marshall Counties – email@example.com (256) 674 – 3145
Morgan and Limestone Counties – firstname.lastname@example.org
Lauderdale County – EnrollTheShoals@gmail.com (256) 856 – 9810
Madison and all other north Alabama counties – EnrollHuntsville@gmail.com