Health Care Enrollment Off to Slow Start in Mid-Michigan

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LANSING (WILX)-- A key part of Obamacare started Tuesday. The uninsured can start shopping for health insurance, but in mid-Michigan enrollment has been slow.

On Tuesday people were standing by to help people sign up at the Ingham County Health Department, but they didn't have a single person come to enroll.

"I think there are some unknowns, and that's why people are trying to gather all their information before they move forward," said Debbie Edokpolo, Assist. Deputy Health Officer for the dept.

Edokpolo added that there were questions asked about enrollment despite the lack of action, so there is interest.

One person who's interested is Melanie Gober. She's been waiting for this day, but even she felt under-prepared to start shopping for the insurance she needs.

"I'm definitely going to be getting on the internet and doing more research. It's very confusing," said Gober.

"People just need more information on where they need to go, and what they need to do . So here at the Health Department we have people that can help them answer those questions," said Edokpolo.

The enrollment process takes at least 45 minutes. New customers have a lot of options to decide on, including the level of coverage they want, --from basic to platinum level plans. Customers will also have to provide income, household, and job status details at the time of enrollment, so it's best to come prepared.

"You will need things like your personal information, and your financial information," said Edokpolo.

There will be classes at local libraries over the next couple months if your looking for help. The first class will be at the Capitol Area District Library's Downtown branch Wednesday night at 6:30 pm.

People have until the end of March to get coverage. Individuals who don't will have to pay a tax.
It starts at $95 dollars, and goes up to nearly $700 or 2.5% of your income in three years (whichever is greater).

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