Affordable Care Act enrollment events this Saturday in Pinellas

AP file photo

 

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Affordable Care Act open enrollment events are taking place Saturday in Pinellas County.

County navigators will go around the community to answer residents’ health insurance questions regarding the ACA or Obamacare and provide information about enrolling in a plan through the online Healthcare Marketplace.

To receive coverage on February 1, 2017, individuals must enroll by January 15th.

The open enrollment period for Obamacare, runs through January 31st.

But, some area residents on the plan are not happy about the Affordable Care Act.

Mackenzy Gourdet was once excited about Obamacare, until he had to take his mother to her doctor’s appointment last week.

“They told me the office visit would be ranging from $350 to $575, but they only pay for $50. So, I have to come out of the other portion, out of pocket,” said Gourdet.

He said he was shocked and had to reschedule.

“I was surprised because I thought it would be covered, cause that’s what they told me when I was signing up,” he said.

Senate Republicans took the first step to repeal The Affordable Care Act.

Early Thursday morning, Republicans approved a budget resolution to repeal Obamacare.

The budget passed with a Senate vote of 51-48.

Dozens of lawmakers have opposed repealing Obamacare before coming up with a replacement.

Representative Darryl Rouson said millions of Floridians are benefiting from the Affordable Care Act.

“This will be devastating to our communities, our families and our hospitals and health institutions,” said Rep. Rouson.

He said repealing it would deflate state funds.

“Florida, it’s going to impact the state budget because we’re going to have to do something to help our citizens,” he said.  “This is not just a federal issue, it’s a state issue and it’s going to impact state budget.”

Pinellas County officials say they will continue to sign people up, as long as Obamacare is available.

“We haven’t gotten any guidance to do anything different, so our role is to go ahead and continue to assist our residents and assist people who are looking for enrollment opportunities,” said Daisy Rodriguez, county healthcare administrator.

Navigators will be at the St. Petersburg Main Library on Ninth Avenue North, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Clearwater Library on N. Osceola Ave. from noon to 4 p.m.

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