The Pima County Heath Department recently added a new mapping tool to their site meant to help residents locate Affordable Care Act resources in their community.
The department assembled various tools, one of them being an interactive map, that allows people identify places where they can get enrollment assistance and get answers to health insurance questions, explained Francisco Garcia, director of the Pima County Health Department.
For many people, the roll out process has been quiet confusing, according to Garcia, so for the last six months, the department has been developing resources that will point out where they can get started.
"Go to our website, pima.gov/ACA, and that will take you to our interactive website, from there you can identify a variety of tools...the map, as well as other resources, to figure out what your (Affordable Care Act) benefits may be," he said. The idea for the map is to identify locations close to people's homes where they can go for help, he added.
For instance, a person would plug in his or her home address, and the map would then disclose resources in that surrounding area.
The primary goal of the department's interactive website is to take people to "the right place," meaning either to a federal site or state site where they can enroll for health insurance through the marketplace. There is also a phone number for those who would rather speak to a person directly, Garcia explained.
"A lot of people prefer to speak to someone in their community, so that map will allow them to see where they can go, and have that interaction (and get the help)," he said.
Garcia said they have been getting a lot of good feedback, especially from individuals who are trying to enroll very close to the March 30 deadline.
Since the beginning of enrollment in October, Garcia said there are about 28,000 people who now have coverage, either through Medicaid or through the federal marketplace.
"We are one of the many partners trying to make this happen," he said.
On Saturday, March 1, the county is hosting an event where health professionals will be providing free health insurance enrollment assistance. Cover Pima County! will cover about 14 locations throughout Pima County at different times of the day.
For a complete list of locations and schedules click here.