Event helps people with health care enrollment

Enrollment events will be held throughout Jacksonville until March 31 deadline


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – People who are trying to sign up for health plans through the Affordable Care Act had some help in northwest Jacksonville on Saturday.

Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown, state Rep. Mia Jones and multiple health care navigators were on hand at the Legends Community Center on Soutel Drive to help people sign up.

A large number of people showed up Saturday to sign up for the Affordable Care Act. Many hoping to get a better deal on health insurance.

As the federal government has struggled to sign Americans up for the new health care market place, local cities like Jacksonville are teaming with various groups to sign people up. Roughly 157,000 people in Jacksonville are uninsured.

"Today we have navigators in and people are leaving out today excited about the fact they have insurance," said Representative Jones.

In October, the website was criticized for several glitches and issues, but Jones said the website is working better for those who need to sign up.

"Things are so much better. I was reminded when Medicare Part D first came on board, the problems they had when that first happened. You shouldn't be surprised when systems don't always work," said Representative Jones.

Katrina Brown is a small business owner who just enrolled in a plan and is quite happy with it.

"As a small business, healthcare is a lot higher. So when the Affordable Care Act came up this is an opportunity for me to save money and my employees to save money," said Katrina Brown.

There were a few stations people stopped at before meeting with navigators. The first was to sign up for the process with an email address, and for people who don't have email they walked you through setting up an account.

For Brenda White, who pays $400 a month for her and her husband's current plan, she's just here looking to shop the new marketplace and see if she can find something cheaper.

"For the new program, if I can get it for less, I'll pay less, so I came to see what I can do," said White.

There are two more events planned. One on February 22, the other on March 22. The sites have not been selected yet, and more events may be planned based on the amount of people who showed up.

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