News : Houston Department of Health and Human Services Staffs Call Center
Nov 7, 2014 -- The Houston Department of Health and Human Services again will staff a call center during open enrollment of the 2015 health insurance marketplace to answer residents' questions about coverage and the Affordable Care Act.
Marketplace enrollment begins Nov. 15. Last year, nearly 734,000 Texans signed up for coverage, many of whom had never before been insured.
Those who bought 2014 coverage could renew their plans for 2015 or look for new coverage. Health care experts say more insurers and more plans will be available, which could affect premiums. Several Houstonians say they struggle to pay their monthly premiums on top of mortgages, car payments and utilities.
Health and human services spokesman Porfirio Villarreal said call center workers will answer questions and schedule appointments for in-person application assistance for residents in Houston and its 12 surrounding counties. Application assisters also will be available at city health centers and multi-service centers to help people with insurance enrollment.
Villarreal said many people need help figuring out how enrollment works and what information and documents they need to complete the process.
"We're getting people educated about what the marketplace is," he said. "We can answer all their questions and walk them through the process."
Houston and Harris County residents can call week days during business hours to ask questions and receive application appointments.
Open enrollment ends Feb. 15.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Monday, November 10, 2014