Sat 9:37pm: Coming Sunday – Navigating the health care system

Coming Sunday in the Tribune Chronicle…

WARREN Nearly a week after the Affordable Care Act’s open enrollment period began, there has been virtually no interest among area residents in signing up for insurance being sold in the health insurance exchanges in the Mahoning Valley.

However, several agencies are gearing up for what they believe will be onslaught of requests for help from low- to moderate-income residents in determining what kind of health insurance is available and what their costs as a December deadline approaches.

The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, requires every American to have some level of medical insurance or face increasingly higher fines from 2014 through 2016. The first deadline for people to sign up is Dec. 15, which would allow people to have health insurance on Jan. 1.

Trey Daly, director of Enroll America’s Ohio office, said there seems to be a significant lack of information about the Affordable Care Act.

“There have been hundreds of thousands of people trying to get information across the state,” he said. “This is showing there is pent-up demand among the uninsured for some kind of insurance.”

Because the selection of insurance polices is so important, Daly suggested people initially are simply gathering information and taking their time to make decisions.

“These are decisions that should not be made hastily,” he said. “People need to take their time and be deliberate, so they whatever the choose will be right for their families and their circumstances.”

The Tribune Chronicle on Sunday will explore options available and talks to those who are trying to untangle the information.