Libraries ready for ObamaCare enrollment rush - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Libraries ready for ObamaCare enrollment rush

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Open enrollment for ObamaCare begins today, even as republicans try to stop the health care law.

Online insurance marketplaces officially opened around the country for the millions of uninsured Americans.

If you're uninsured, you're required to enroll by March or face fines.

There are around 45,000 uninsured people in Hamilton County alone, but many are confused on what to do now.

Public libraries across our area are hoping to help the uninsured find the answers they need.

From Chattanooga to East Ridge, library staffs have been preparing for this day.

There was not an open seat at the Chattanooga Public Library computer bank Tuesday afternoon.

For many, the computer bank is where job applications are filed out, Facebook profiles updated, and email returned.

But today, Tuesday it was also where several Chattanoogans got a look at how to enroll in ObamaCare.

"We've been kind of on the watch, watching the events take place, and just waiting for today to happen," said Mary Barnett, Online Content Manager for the Chattanooga Public Library, "we are ready at the reference desk to help folks."

Barnett says the library serves as the sole source of internet access for many visitors.

For that reason, the library staff was prepared for the Affordable Care Act to kick in.

"If there is an enrollment procedure that involves you supplying an email address that you haven't created yet, our librarians can help you with that," she explained.

But while Barnett says the staff can be the link to resources, library employees are not trained in the enrollment process.

"Our librarians are not certified to facilitate your enrollment," insisted Barnett, "we can't really get involved with that for you, but we can get you to the information."

In East Ridge, Susan Macrellis added a shortcut to all desktops anticipating the same rush.

"We did not see that crowd come in, but we were prepared," she told Channel 3.

In case it comes later, Macrellis says her staff will waive any fees for non-library members.

"We don't charge the $1 fee that we normally would charge for someone who is not a library member," she said.

While local libraries do not have certified navigators on staff, there are 11 locations in the Chattanooga area that have certified navigators to help.

You can find personal assistance at the following locations:


- Southside Community Health Center, 100 E 37th St.

- Dodson Ave. Community Health Center, 1200 Dodson Ave.

- Children's Urgent Care, 910 Blackford St.

- Erlanger Health System, 975 E. Third St.

- Metropolitan Ministries, 1112 McCallie Ave.

- Chattanooga Hamilton County Medical Society, 1917 E. Third St.

- Homeless Health Care Center, 717 E. 11th St.

- Hamilton County Health Department general information, 209-8375

North Georgia

- Primary Health Care Center of Trenton, 13570 N. Main St.

- Primary Health Care Center of Rossville, 1430 Suggs St.

- Primary Health Care school-based center, Tiger Creek Elementary School, 134 Rhea McClanaham

Read More:

- Insurance marketplace opens, locals have questions



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