Open enrollment begins for Affordable Care Act

Still one main point of confusion
Posted at 8:05 PM, Nov 01, 2016

Three simple words describing Anneliese Meier's decision to take a new job. She's now a certified health care navigator. A job created to help people understand the Affordable Care Act or Obama care.

"To help people," said Meier. "I felt so compelled. I believe in this program and I feel people should be insured."

She enrolled last year and this year she is helping others at the Tampa Enrollment Assistance Center. One of many centers in our area.

"It's tough because you want to make sure they get the right benefits," said Meier.

On average each navigator spends two  hours with each person who walks through the door.

"We already have people from last year calling," said Andy Diaz-Ramos, the outreach coordinator.

Four years since the program launched people still need help something the navigators welcome.

The government has tried to make the website easy to navigate and everyone can apply.

But there's one main point of confusion and that's when consumers call doctors offices.

"They tell them that they have Obama care. There is no such thing as Obamacare. It's Florida Blue or Aetna or whatever the insurance provider is," said Dionne Young.

Young has been a site supervisor since the program launched. She along with other navigators stress you have to name your plan. If you don't the person on the other end may not realize you are eligible for coverage.

"When you call the doctor's office you need to name the insurance provider that you have. And also give them the policy number as well or the ID number so they can actually look up to see if they actually take the plan," said Young.

And the navigators are here to help.

"It's just like doing your taxes that's why they have accounts and someone who knows a little more and that's why we are here," said Young.

Diaz-Ramos added,  "And the assistance we offer is free we have bilingual speakers."

Already nearly 1.7 million Floridians have signed up and while in this state coverage is up about 19%,
navigators said the savings under this act might still be well worth it.

Meier is committed to help as many as she can

"It's my way of giving back," said Meier.

For more information and to help find a navigator near you head to:

Enrollment runs through January 31, 2017.