HONESDALE – The federal deadline to sign up for health insurance is less than a week away for people who are not covered.
Yes, that’s part of the Healthcare.gov website, and health care professionals in our area are busy helping folks enroll in the program.
These days, Laura Long and Chelsea Lucchesi are taking appointment after appointment at the Wayne Memorial Community Health Center in Honesdale.
They’ve been tasked with signing up folks in the Health Insurance Marketplace, part of so-called Obamacare.
At first, they admit it was a bit bumpy, but since October, both women have enrolled a few hundred folks in a health care plan and assisted hundreds more.
“Right now, the deadline approaching, we’re swamped, busy. We are trying to get everyone fit in,” said Long.
Richard Klein of Hawley stopped by for an appointment with the Outreach Enrollment Coordinators. He’s already insured, but is looking for a better deal for him and his family.
“If I can find something in the Affordable Care Act that’s better than what I have, why not go with that? I need to save money, just like everyone else, keep the cost down,” he said.
The women went so far as to leave their business cards at the local tax office to bring more people in the door to sign up.
“We’ve done posters, TV radio ads and outreach events which bring a lot of people as well,” said Lucchesi.
Both said only a handful of people have chosen to pay the penalty instead of signing up for health care coverage.
Laura even met with Vice President Biden when he was in our area last week at Terry’s Diner in Moosic and said she was encouraged to hear that Pennsylvania is one of the states with the most enrollments so far.
“It makes us feel good we’re doing the job and doing a good job.”
The deadline for sign ups if you don’t have health care is Monday, March 31st.