Navigators scramble to finish training for Affordable Care Act

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - In less than a week, people can start enrolling for health care plans under the Affordable Care Act and people in Kansas City are scrambling to be ready to answer your questions by the time enrollment begins October 1.

A newly-released report from the White House claims 95 percent of Americans will see lower premiums with the Affordable Care Act and have 53 plans from which to choose.

Missourians should have 17 plans to choose from and Kansas should have 37. A family of four in Kansas can expect a mid-range plan to cost $619 while it should cost just under $800 in Missouri.

The people at the Shepherd's Center off Armour see all too often how medical bills can ruin lives. "People come in having to choose between feeding their family and buying medication," said Pam Seymour, listing examples of the need for health care she sees every day.

That's what has Seymour so excited to become a Marketplace Navigator, licensed by the state of Missouri, to help people wade through their options under the Affordable Care Act.

She is, however, a little stressed about finishing her training.

"It is very intense", she said. "I'm told the further you get into it, the harder it gets."

But she's ready and willing to learn if she can to the training.

"You may need to come back at midnight!" she laughed when she tried to show us the training on her computer. 
We waited but only ever saw a blank screen and a spinning icon. The program has only been available for a few weeks and is bogged down with everyone in the country trying to log on.

She says she is about half way through the training and has so far debunked a few of her own myths. She now knows coverage won't begin until January and enrollment may start in October but lasts six months. That makes Seymour believe it is better to wait and pick the right plan than to hurry up and enroll.

Plans are not yet available to see but will likely be available October 1 on the government's official site, www.HealthCare.gov.

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