Champaign Health Officials Help With Marketplace
By Sean Powers
Representatives from the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District were helping people sign up on Tuesday for the health care exchanges.
A hand full of public health staffers were on hand to assist people, like Champaign resident Cheryl Jones, who woke up early to enroll in a plan.
“I got up at 5:17 this morning, and it was hard for me to get out of bed because I have problems with my knees and my back,” she said.
Jones worked for years as a line operator at a factory, before retiring last year. She said she got hurt on the job, and is still “having problems with my hip, my shoulder, just having a lot of problems now. “
“Not having insurance, you just really have to sit and suffer and wait it out,” she said. “I’m in between a rock and a hard place because I’m not old enough for Medicare. I got to wait until next year.”
Charlene Aumiller lives just outside of St. Joseph. She said she does not have coverage either, and has been paying out of pocket for her anti-depressant medication.
“It’s going to be a lot less stressful where I don’t have to worry about paying a whole lot of money to go see the doctor,” Aumiller said.
The Champaign-Urbana Public Health District’s Awais Vaid was helping people with the online exchanges. He said the online marketplace appears to be running smoothly, with the exception of a few problems.
“If you’re on the marketplace, they have some technical glitches, where it’s not displaying all the information correctly right now,” Vaid said. “It’s also taking a longer time because it seems a lot of people are accessing this website, so it’s asking them to wait.”
Speaking in Chicago, Gov. Pat Quinn said glitches are likely to happen with rolling out a new program this large.
“When Apple unveils a new device, they may have some minor problems and glitches that need to be resolved, but they go forward,” he said. “They don’t just stop and say, ‘Well, we’re going to take a year off.’”
Coverage is scheduled to start Jan. 1, and open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act ends March 31