A health insurance sign-up session was fully booked Wednesday in Rhinelander. Application counselors from Bridge Clinic in Wausau were on hand to walk people through the process of enrolling in the online exchange.
Though a fickle internet connection was a frustration, at mid-day AyLee Her said he’d already helped three people sign up.
“We are gonna be on the clock every hour. So we’re hoping we don’t have any technical issues. We should be able to get individuals enrolled within that hour and go on to the next individual.”
Even though he wasn’t ready to sign up today, Jeff Kuczmarski says he’s happy about the changes brought on by the Affordable Care Act. He’s been uninsured for 15 years.
“There’s a certain faction of people out there that have blown this affordable care thing out of proportion and saying it’s really a bad thing – actually from what I can see, it’s probably one of the greatest things that’s ever happened, because it made health care affordable for a lot of people.”
Meanwhile, others are still facing the frustration of waiting for Badgercare to take effect. Childless adults who are below the poverty line can’t buy insurance on the exchange, but have to wait until April 1st for Badgercare to expand to cover them.
Sandy Karnes says she and her husband both lost jobs in the past year.
“We haven’t been covered since last June. So it’s been scary because he’s got diabetes, and he’s got heart issues and any time something could happen. And that would totally wipe us out if that did happen. So yeah it’s kinda scary not having insurance.”
Still, Karnes said she was happy to get her questions answered. The sign up session was held at the Oneida County Senior Center in Rhinelander.