In-person assister positions still available

Local - 10/30/2013 5:40 PM

CHARLESTON - About half of the positions created by the state to help people enroll in health insurance plans haven't been filled.

Office of the Insurance Commissioner spokesman Jason Butcher said the state planned to hire 170 in-person assisters.  West Virginians for Affordable Care Executive Director Perry Bryant said that about 80 of the positions were filled.  Butcher said the state chose four companies to provide more assisters.  It's also placed a helper in each of the Department of Health and Human Resources' 55 county offices.

Butcher said other workers around the state will help people enroll in health insurance.  They include navigators, certified application counselors, and insurance agents.

Doris Selko, southern regional coordinator for WVAHC, said the organization would like to have all-hands on deck soon. "We need those positions filled," she explained. "We need those people finding the people that need the help - and not just in the enrollment process, but letting them know that they do qualify and how to go about the enrollment."

Selko said about 78 percent of people who qualify for benefits do not know they are eligible - and it is the in-person assisters who can educate them about it. WVAHC was initially told there would be around 230 in-person assisters to work throughout the state, so they would like to have as many of the now 170 assisters as soon as possible, according to Selko.  

WVAHC is partnering with the School of Social Work at UC-Beckley to host open enrollment sessions at the Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH) Hospitals in Beckley and Hinton. The sessions will be held for the first two weeks of November. At Beckley ARH Hospital, sessions will be held Mondays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. At Summers County ARH Hospital, sessions will be held Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.  


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ORIGINAL: 10/30/13, 9:32 a.m.

CHARLESTON - About half of the positions created by the state to help people enroll in health insurance plans haven't been filled.

Office of the Insurance Commissioner spokesman Jason Butcher said the state planned to hire 170 in-person assisters.  West Virginians for Affordable Care Executive Director Perry Bryant said that about 80 of the positions were filled.  Butcher said the state chose four companies to provide more assisters.  It's also placed a helper in each of the Department of Health and Human Resources' 55 county offices.

Butcher said other workers around the state will help people enroll in health insurance.  They include navigators, certified application counselors, and insurance agents.

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