Hoosiers learn about health care options ahead of deadline

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Stephon Macon came to the Indiana State Fairgrounds on Sunday with a lot of questions. He said he knows he needs health insurance but he’s not sure which plan is right for him.

“I want to (get) some advice on what plan–as far as the premium I’ll pay per month–that will work better for me,” he said.

Macon and dozens of others were there to learn about their options under the new health care law.

As of March 18, nearly 65,000 people in Indiana had signed up for private insurance under the federal health care law–a 36 percent increase from the previous month but well short of the 100,000 originally expected to have signed up during the first five months of enrollment.

With the March 31 deadline to enroll or face penalties, Hoosiers are getting help navigating their way through the process and assistance with enrolling from health care systems and other non-profit organizations.

“We can explain, we can show them the benefits of the different plans,” said Gabriel Goncalves, outreach coordinator for MDWise.

Last week, Eskenazi Health offered a chance for people to sing up through its “Enroll Indianapolis Day.”

There may be some wiggle room when it comes to signing up by the deadline. Federal officials say the deadline will not be extended, but anyone who has started an application may get extra time to finish it. Details were still being worked out.

If you need assistance understanding the health care reform law and how to learn about your insurance options, click here for help in your community.

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