[NATL Feature Page]Affordable Care Act

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Affordable Care Act Enrollment Begins

Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz Plugs Affordable Care Act in Miami Health Center Visit, But Enrollment Still Lags

By Diana Gonzalez
|  Thursday, Oct 31, 2013  |  Updated 6:04 PM EDT
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South Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz came to the Borinquen Health Care Center in Midtown Miami to share Affordable Care Act success stories Thursday. However, in the last month navigators here have only been able to enroll seven people. NBC 6's Diana Gonzalez spoke with healthcare shopper Miriam Romero about her experiences with the ACA.

South Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz came to the Borinquen Health Care Center in Midtown Miami to share Affordable Care Act success stories Thursday. However, in the last month navigators here have only been able to enroll seven people. NBC 6's Diana Gonzalez spoke with healthcare shopper Miriam Romero about her experiences with the ACA.

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South Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz came to the Borinquen Health Care Center in Midtown Miami to share Affordable Care Act success stories Thursday.

"Right here at Borinquen they've helped educate 2,600 people in the last four weeks about the health care plans that are available in the marketplace," announced the congresswoman.

However, in the last month navigators here have only been able to enroll seven people. Miriam Romero was the very first.

"She found a plan for $136 a month and now she's going to have the coverage that she needs," Wasserman Schultz said when she called the 61-year-old to the podium.

But despite the congresswoman's introduction, Romero didn't end up sounding like a success story. She is concerned about the premium for a plan with a 40 percent co-pay.

"Now for me is too much money," Romero said.

After the news conference Romero said, "Yeah, I signed the policy but maybe I don’t want it." She is considering canceling it. The navigator who helped her says there must be some confusion and Romero has an appointment to return next week to clear things up.

Wasserman Schultz also had to deal with questions regarding reports of policy cancellations.

"The overwhelming majority of people who have coverage that are going to have their policy transitioned, are going to be able to have it transitioned for better benefits for less money," answered the congresswoman.

She presented Carolyn Newman, a breast cancer survivor who got a letter from Florida's Blue Cross high-risk pool.

"Recently the news said that 300,000 people were dropped from the plan,” Newman said. “Well, I actually was on that plan and I was not dropped, I was transitioned. I was transitioned into another plan.”

She's happy about it because her premium will be cut in half and she'll have much better coverage with a lower deductible.

Computer system problems continue to be a source of frustration.

"The website is being retooled and we expect that from the administration's direction that by the end of November all of the kinks should be ironed out," Wasserman Schultz said.

At Borinquen they've switched to paper applications. The deadline has not been changed.

"I guess my opinion is if it doesn’t work within the next 30 days, how does January 1st work – can it be retroactive to January 1st even though the enrollment is after? I hope something gets worked out for sure," said Bob Linder, the CEO at Borinquen.

More on NBC6.com:

For complete coverage of the Affordable Care Act implementation as well as tools, calculators, state-by-state information and a detailed FAQ, visit our ACA section.

 

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