Enroll America making health insurance pitches wherever uninsured are



That means Florence French has her work cut out for her.

French is an organizer with Enroll America, a nonprofit devoted to finding people eligible for for insurance through the Affordable Care Act and showing them where and how to enroll.

That means a lot of one-on-one pitches, wherever there are people: the Department of Motor Vehicles, homes, Home Depot parking lots.

On Sunday, French was at the Valley of Life Ministries, a small Haitian church in a strip center on Broadway near Blue Heron Boulevard. The church’s president, Marie Antoinette Jean Pierre, takes care of and feeds people who walk through the church’s door. Many are homeless.

French’s job lately has been to find people who qualify for a special enrollment period.

The first enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, ended in March. The next enrollment period is in November, but will carry a $95 fine for adults who missed the first enrollment. The penalty escalates to $300 and $700 in subsequent years.

But if someone has a qualifying life event recently — including a marriage or divorce, a move or a new job, a 26th birthday or a new child — they can use the federal exchange right now to buy health insurance without a penalty. They have 60 days from the date of the event to enroll.

Insurance rates through the exchange can be surprisingly inexpensive. Ninety-one percent of Floridians who signed up received a tax credit, bringing the average subsidized plan to $68 per month. More than half of Floridians paid a premium of $50 or less per month.

French, 50, of Boca Raton, says that’s made her pitch an easy one.

“When we knock on someone’s door, they’re grateful,” she said. “There are so many people who have never had health insurance.”

Yves Laplanche, 63, is a volunteer with Enroll America. He estimated he’s helped enroll thousands of people.

“I was a little hesitant at first, thinking, What good could I do?” Laplanche said.

But he said the meetings with people can be emotional.

Enroll America doesn’t sell insurance. It received federal funding to just help people sign up. And afterward, the nonprofit helps them learn how to use their insurance.

On Sunday, one man growled at French that he didn’t want anything to do with Obama or the insurance.

But she did find two people eligible for enrollment. One man just started a new job. The other just lost one.



Reader Comments


Next Up in News

Boynton Beach: Couple blames real estate market for delay in family
Mark and Jen Kaplan are newlyweds — they married in January. The couple would like to start a family, buy a bigger house and finally get Mark...
Palm Beach Gardens: Realtor didn’t want to give up dream home
Longtime Palm Beach Gardens real estate agent Michelle Zwart wasn’t willing to walk away from her dream home — or her 20 percent down...
Wellington: Owner’s suit educating him on bubble… ‘It’s sick beyond sick’
Kevin Proodian and his family moved to Wellington from Delray Beach in 2005 because he wanted his kids to attend the highly rated village schools.
West Palm Beach: I was a real estate writer, and I was duped too
I’d been a real estate writer and editor for years. I’d won my share of awards writing about commercial and residential property.
History, made! Hillary Clinton accepts Democratic nomination
History, made! Hillary Clinton accepts Democratic nomination
  PHILADELPHIA — Making history as the first female major party nominee for president, Hillary Clinton said Thursday that America...

You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myPalmBeachPost.com.

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of free premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to myPalmBeachPost.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myPalmBeachPost.com.