Iowans Turn To Enrollment Fair For Health Insurance Help - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Iowans Turn To Enrollment Fair For Health Insurance Help

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By: Claire Powell


Iowans who weren't sure how to sign up for health insurance had extra help Saturday.

A health insurance enrollment fair at Evelyn K. Davis Center for Working Families helped hundreds of Iowans without health insurance.

Volunteers and trained professionals from Polk County Health Department, A Mid-Iowa Organizing Strategy, Visiting Nurse Services of Iowa, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, Coventry Insurance and CoOportunity Health were there to help.

Counselors sat down with people to look at their income and insurance options.

"They need more one on one assistance preferably with a person they can see, not over the phone, not a web page but someone they can talk to," said Rick Kozin, Director of Polk County Health Department.

Others like Cierra Cason just needed a computer and a little assistance. She self-applied online and advisors were there to help if she ran into trouble.

"I thought what better way if you have any questions you have people here to support you and walk you through options of what needs to be done," said Cason.

"If they get a snag, there's someone saying OK, here's what you need to do," said Kozin.

Over 60 people came through the doors in the first hour. However, over 45,000 people in Polk County alone don't have adequate health insurance.

"But there are still lots of folks who want the opportunity to sit down on the other side of the table from somebody they can see to work through this because it is complicated," said Kozin.

"Utilizing this community fair is the easiest way I think because you have people just like you, same types of questions and you don't feel alone," said Cason.

The looming deadlines on January 15th and March 31st are a reminder: if you haven't signed up, you need to soon.

'If you have health insurance it's much easier to have a regular doctor to get regular care, avoid having to go to the emergency room if you don't need to. Let alone the anxiety you have about worrying about unanticipated health costs," said Kozin.

"Oh yeah, big sigh of relief because then I know what options I have and I'll be receiving notifications through the mail too," said Cason. 

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