Juneau will get more help enrolling for health insurance

United Way navigator Crystal Bourland is based at the NAMI office off Glacier Highway, but she is also mobile and can enroll people who aren’t able to get to her. (Photo by Lisa Phu/KTOO)

Juneau’s United Way navigator Crystal Bourland enrolled one person for a health insurance plan on Tuesday.

While she’s happy to have her first successful enrollment, she’s not totally surprised it worked. Bourland says over the past couple of weeks, the healthcare.gov website has been improving.

“Just going through the application process with someone else, it was a lot faster and it just seemed to be connecting everything very well, so the functionality, at least from my own experience, is working a lot better,” Bourland explains.

Bourland is reaching out to individuals who contacted her before the website was working and hopes to schedule follow-up appointments to enroll more people.

She is also planning a series of educational programs at Juneau public libraries to begin at the end of November. “It’s going to be a presentation on the health insurance marketplace, an overview – what this means for people and financial assistance options and then just enrollment assistance and resources in the community, such as myself,” explains Bourland.

Bourland’s office is located at the NAMI office off Glacier Highway. And starting next week, Juneau will have more help enrolling for healthcare at Bartlett Regional Hospital and Walmart.

Schedule an appointment with navigator Crystal Bourland by:

  • calling 523-1147
  • emailing cbourland@ak.org

Contact Enroll Alaska by:

  • calling 855-385-5550 or 907-770-5100
  • emailing info@enrollingalaska.com
  • go to the website

Enroll Alaska will have one agent at each location. Chief operation officer Tyann Boling is excited to finally deploy agents to Juneau.

“There’s a lot of need in Juneau and I think they will be really helpful to the members of the community there,” Boling says. “There’s a lot of small businesses all across Southeast so I think that there’s a lot of opportunity there and a lot of individuals that need health insurance.”

Since the healthcare.gov website has started to work properly, Boling says phones at Enroll Alaska have been ringing and at least six more people were enrolled Wednesday, “Word is getting out and the interest is picking up and, you know, if I had ten more licensed agents, I would have them full-time in these areas. There’s not enough agents for the demand right now.”

Elsewhere in Southeast, Enroll Alaska plans in the future to have agents in Sitka and Ketchikan.

In order for insurance coverage to begin January 1, people must enroll by December 15.

 

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