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Children's Board of Hillsborough County helps people navigate health care insurance signup

Offers free Affordable Care Act registration
Posted at 3:50 AM, Feb 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-22 07:49:27-05

TAMPA, Fla. — President Joe Biden relaunched open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act on February 15.

The move allows millions of Americans the opportunity to sign up for healthcare coverage, but the process of finding the right plan can be daunting.

That's where Melanie Hall and her colleagues come in.

Her title reads Executive Director of the Family Healthcare Foundation. But her superpower is helping people navigate Affordable Care Act coverage.

She's helped people search the system since the Obama Administration and said this time around, looking for the right coverage will not be as daunting.

"The website itself was quite the challenge. That has improved dramatically and is much easier to help with," Hall said.

The Children's Board of Hillsborough County has six resource centers spanning across the county.

Healthcare navigators like Hall rotate throughout the centers and help people choose one of the 107 health care plans that are available in the Hillsborough County area.

The services are free to the public.

"I think it's a matter of once people understand these opportunities and understand that they have local assistance to help them make those very important decisions people do take you up on those offers, but they can't take you up on an offer that they don't know exists," Hall said.

The ACA relaunch comes with changes.

Hall said people can now change their coverage if they are not happy with the one they currently have.

In addition, open enrollment will last longer and run until May 15.

Hall said sign up takes anywhere between 30 and 50 minutes, depending on the size of the family.

The center offers in-person help, but can also accommodate people over the phone or via a virtual conference call.

For more information about the free ACA services and other free services the Children's Board of Hillsborough County offers click here.