The Open Enrollment period for Marketplace insurance is only 45 days this year. Uninsured Yumans only have one day left to enroll. KAWC’s Maya Springhawk Robnett reports…
Yuma Regional Medical Center’s Application Counselors are available by appointment to help members of the public get insured. This year the insurance Marketplace is open only from November 1st through December 15th. Last year, the enrollment window extended from November 1st through January 21st.
Meliza Marquez, who supervises the 10 counselors at YRMC, said people often mistakenly believe they can’t get affordable healthcare. She recalls helping a cancer patient who didn’t believe he qualified.
“He was very concerned because he had a medication that was very expensive,” Marquez said. “It was thousands of dollars a month, the medication for cancer. So he couldn’t afford it. And I submitted the application and the patient ended up being approved. And so after that he was very happy and thankful.”
Since November, the counselors have helped enroll 19 people through the Marketplace. YRMC also extended appointment hours to evenings and Saturdays during the enrollment period.
As part of the Affordable Care Act, all Americans are required to have health insurance or pay a fine. Registration for AHCCCS, the healthcare program for low-income Arizonans, and KidsCare, the program for Arizona children, is open year-round.