MILWAUKEE -- There are 80,000 uninsured people in the city of Milwaukee. On Monday, October 26th, officials with the Department of Health and Human Services and several local leaders gathered to announce their plans to reach those folks and help them sign up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
"So that people can get the chance to shop and get affordable health insurance, many for the first time in their lives," said Kathleen Falk, Health and Human Services regional director.
Since it began two years ago, 17.6 million more Americans have signed up for health insurance through the online marketplace. There's an estimated 80,000 people in Milwaukee that remain uninsured.
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"So they're working hard, but they're not making a lot of money -- and that's why this affordable health insurance is so important to them," said Falk.
Health and Human Services officials say it's easier than ever to sign up. There's a brand new website that makes it easy to window shop for the best plan. There's also a cost calculator for accurate pricing.
"By building in the premiums and the deductibles, you'll be able to see at the end of the year what would be the best bang for the buck for you to choose from," said Falk.
The enrollment period runs from November 1st through January 31st.
"Sign up now, because the worst thing you can have is a situation where you end up in the hospital. You don't have the insurance, and then you're going to have financial problems for years to come," said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.
Several free open enrollment clinics will happen throughout Milwaukee County. The first one will be held Tuesday, November 1st at the Gerald L. Ignace Indian Health Center on S. 11th Street (near 11th and Mitchell) from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m.
For other locations and times, dial 211.