By Sean Lee, WWJ Health Reporter
SOUTHFIELD (WWJ) – With just three weeks and counting until the Affordable Care Act launches, there’s a scramble on to hire and train people to explain the program.
The federal government has recruited more a hundred non-profits and related groups — everything from soup kitchens to consumer education organizations — to sign up navigators to help the 30 million uninsured people who are now eligible for coverage under Obamacare.
Those groups have to hire and train a small army of people who to become instant experts in the Affordable Care Act, and basically explain the intricacies of health insurance to people who’ve never had it.
The navigators will be sent to community events with laptops to help people sign up for insurance online. They’ll work at food banks, shelters, churches and free clinics where uninsured people are likely to be found.
The enrollment period lasts six months and coverage begins in January.
The website HealthCare.gov, has been reformatted to help people can learn how to get ready for open enrollment this fall. By October, the site will allow enrollees in 34 federally operated online marketplaces to apply for federal subsidies and shop online for plans.