POSTED: Tuesday, October 1, 2013 - 5:45pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, October 1, 2013 - 9:17pm
El Paso, TX (KTSM) — A stalemate over 'Obamacare' is being blamed for the government shutdown. Whether you like it or not -- Tuesday was the first day to enroll in the program.
180,000 El Paso County residents are uninsured, according to Enroll El Paso, but now, those people can sign up for healthcare.
The Health Insurance Market Place is open! Although El Pasoans we spoke with are not planning on signing up, because they're insured of they have Medicaid, 27-percent of county residents will have to.
Here are some things, Enroll America, shares about enrolling. "All the plans included at the health insurance market place are required to cover essential benefits. These are things like trips to the ER, prescription drugs, maternal care," Anne Filipic, the President of Enroll America told us. Open enrollment lasts until March 31, 2014. "For people who have struggled with costs in the past, we're seeing a whole new level of affordability and actually, many people can get tax credits to help them pay for their premiums each month."
Unlike before, if you have a condition such as cancer or diabetes, "you can't be denied because of a preexisting condition," Filipic said.
Although there is still much skepticism about the new law, "I believe that it's going to turn our society similar to the society in Canada where we won't be able to choose our personal doctors," Gina Mervis said.
"I still wouldn't buy it because I consider it just a rouse," Pablo Armstrong explained. That skepticism may be healthy, because through all the confusion, scammers know how to take advantage of all the misinformation about the act.
"If somebody from the government tries to call them or email them or text them they should hang up right away," Margo Monreal, the Communications Director of the Better Business Bureau of El Paso explained, "If somebody is calling you to verify personal information, that's a huge red flag in itself."
If you're uninsured and don't sign up in tie for insurance, you will be facing a fee. Either $95 or 1-percent of your income in 2014, whichever amount is greater.
Enroll El Paso - enrollelpaso.org or 915-206-2121
Federal helpline - 800-318-2596