So you waited until the last minute to sign up for Obamacare. And, let’s say, you’re confused — about some part of the application process, or about your health insurance options. Now what?
The deadline to sign up for coverage for this year is Monday, March 31.
One important addendum: Anticipating a last-minute surge in sign-up attempts, the federal government has announced that enrollees unable to finish their application due to technical problems or other reasons will get a limited, additional amount of time to finish.
NewsWorks has put together the following list of resources and area events that might come in handy for those seeking last-minute help. (We’ll update this as we learn more.) Some are organized by advocacy groups.
• Healthcare.gov is the official site for individuals in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware to apply for coverage and if eligible, obtain subsidies.
• There’s a federal toll-free help line: 1-800-318-2596. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has reported that 14,000 customer service representatives will be hand through Monday to answer questions, work through problems, and walk people through the application process.
• Each state also has designated “navigators” and “certified application counselors” who meet with people in-person or by phone, absolutely free of charge. They can be located, by ZIP code through this federal site. Navigator and certified application organizations in the Philadelphia region include Resources for Human Development, Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Health Access Network, and Center For Family Services (in New Jersey).
Live in Delaware? Find more information here.
• Community health centers often have counselors on staff.
• Insurance agents and brokers may also be an option. They can be verified, by ID, through state databases.
• At least one scam in Delaware has been reported. One red flag: Avoid anyone calling and asking for personal financial information by phone.
Other upcoming events with counselors on hand include a Healthy Living Block Party, at Cecil B. Moore Recreation Center: 2551 N 22nd St. Certified application counselors from Project HOME will be on hand; Sunday 2-6pm.
Application counselors are also on hand Monday from 11am-9pm at St. Elizabeth’s Community and Wellness Center, 1845 N. 23rd St. Walk-ins and appointments: 1-877-570-3642
Navigators from Resources for Humand Development will be at several spots around the region:
Ann Silverman Community Health Clinic, 595 West State St Doylstown, Pa.; Friday, 10-2pm
Central Free Library, 1901 Vine St, Philadelphia, Pa.; Friday 10-2, Saturday 9-3
The Harris School, 201 Sharon Avenue, Collindale, Pa.; Friday 6pm – 9pm
Shoprite-Hunting Park, 2800 Fox St, Philadelphia, Pa.; Monday 10am-9pm
Abbottsford Falls, 4700 Wissahickon Ave, Philadelphia, Pa.; Monday 10am-4pm
11th Street Family Health Services, 850 North 11th St, Philadelphia, Pa.; Monday 1-4pm
The advocacy group, Get Covered America, has been working in conjunction with the city of Philadelphia compiled this list of places:
Congreso (by appointment only). 2800 North American Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 215-793-8870 x1310 email@example.com
Northeast Regional Library, 228 Cottman Avenue; Friday 10-5, Saturday 10-3pm.
Prince of Peace Baptist Church 1844 North 32nd Street; Friday 4-7pm
Q Care (located in the Shoprite) 3450 Fox Street; Saturday 10-6pm
Campaign for Working Families, 1207 Chestnut Street, 4th Floor; Friday 10-3pm, Monday 10-2pm
Love Zion Baptist Church, 2521 North 23rd St; Saturday 10-2pm.
Community of Compassion CDC, 6148 Cedar Avenue; Sunday 12-3pm.
Information needed for completing an application includes employer and income information, like a W-2 form, paystub and tax statment for everyone in the household.