Saint Al's helping people sign up for Idaho's health insurance exchange

Credit: Paul Boehlke / KTVB

Saint Al's helping people sign up for Idaho's health insurance exchange

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by Andrea Lutz

Bio | Email | Follow: @KTVBandrealutz

KTVB.COM

Posted on October 25, 2013 at 9:33 PM

Updated Sunday, Oct 27 at 12:06 AM

BOISE – There is still confusion for Idahoans registering for Idaho’s health insurance exchange, but a new program at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center is helping.

They've set up a help center for people needing guidance.

“People who haven’t had insurance, this is something that they have been waiting for, and they want to see what their options are,” said Laurea Howell, director for the assistance program with Saint Alphonsus.

Just inside the main entrance to the hospital assistors are walking folks through the process, step-by-step, answering questions and making the application process easier.

People can schedule an appointment or they can walk-in.

Howell says Idahoans are successfully enrolling for healthcare. Even when the enrollment system goes down she says there are plenty of other options left to get people registered.

Sometimes it takes 20 minutes, other times it happens in two hours, according to an assistor. 

Howell said all of the response is positive and if the assistors can’t get someone registered online, they start a paper application.

Friday, Howell said a woman came in to Saint Alphonsus with her husband and successfully signed up for the program online. The woman was so overjoyed with the help that she wrote a letter to the assistor, thanking him. The woman told KTVB that she qualified for an affordable plan for about $30 a month.

“Everybody that is coming through has a need, and that is what we are here for. It’s to help them with that need,” said Howell.

Assistors say they are learning many tricks to the website, for example using Google Chrome is more manageable with the insurance exchange website than Internet Explorer.

The office is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, inside the Saint Alphonsus main entrance.

Howell believes once the website operates more smoothly those hours could increase.

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