Affordable healthcare advisory event set for Saturday in Nacogdoches

NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) – The COVID-19 pandemic has a direct impact on the increased number of people signing up for Affordable Care Act Marketplace insurance.

A Nacogdoches volunteer group enrolling applicants sees changing trends since November when the sign-up period began.

Joyce Mills gives final directions to ACA Marketplace Navigator Assisters before Saturday’s healthcare event.

“We started Nov. 1 and the deadline January 15. And that’s next week. So that’s why we’re doing this last little push,” explained Mills.

Similar efforts across the nation have resulted in over four-million Americans signing up for the coverage this enrollment period, according to the Health and Human Services. Affordability continues to drive enrollment.

“By people with other insurance companies and the premium was so expensive that they couldn’t afford it,” said Mills.

In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic caused millions to lose their jobs, and consequently, their employer-sponsored health insurance.

Community Improvement Program shifted its attention to health care, realizing the community’s increased risk of illness, medical care or hospitalization.

“As a community we want to improve the health conditions because people who have poor health conditions are the most vulnerable,” said Alex Don Mills, a navigator and pastor for the Little Zion Hill Baptist Church.

Volunteers encourage enrollees by pitching ‘take care of yourself’.

“They have house insurance. They have insurance on their car. So, they are their most valuable asset, so, it makes sense for them to insure themselves,” said ACA navigator Doris Mills.

The ACA Marketplace signup is Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Little Zion Baptist church on Shawnee Street in Nacogdoches.

A COVID-19 vaccination clinic will also take place.

Written by Donna McCollum

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