AUBURN GRESHAM — Even though open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act known as "Obamacare" began earlier this month, St. Sabina Church and the Greater Auburn-Gresham Development Corp. plans to sponsor their own enrollment day.
The event is from 10 a.m.-noon Saturday in McMahon Hall at St. Sabina Church, 1210 W. 78th Place. Space is available for up to 400 people, and appointments will be made for those needing assistance to sign up, said Phil Hunter, director of community employment for St. Sabina.
"There are still people unaware about the deadline to sign up and when coverage actually begins once you do," Hunter said. "And with the website issues that have occurred, we felt it was necessary to have a forum to ensure everyone is fully aware of the act."
The forum will cover everything a person needs to know about Obamacare, Hunter said.
"We will go into detail about the Affordable Care Act, explain the different plans available and what materials are needed to enroll," Hunter said. "Income plays a big part in what plans a person would be eligible for, especially if they already have coverage through their employer."
Sanders said the forum will target seniors.
"Fifty-five percent of the population in Auburn Gresham are seniors, and that group really needs our help," said Norma Sanders, a project manager for the Greater Auburn-Gresham Development Corp. "Our data shows that 20,000 people in our coverage area are uninsured."
The nonprofit organization covers Auburn Gresham, Chatham and Grand Crossing, Sanders said.
Gloria Hadley, 78, is one senior who said she needs help finding affordable health care.
"Right now I have Medicaid, but if I can get something else through this Obamacare I am all for it," said Hadley, of Grand Crossing. "I've heard a lot about these new insurance plans, but I don't have a computer and I tried calling once but was on hold too long. I got discouraged after that and gave up."
Hunter said the forum also is targeting those between 19 and 35 years old.
"Young adults have a different mindset and sometimes think they do not need health coverage because of their age and relatively good health," Hunter said. "It's even harder getting unemployed, young adults to take their health serious regardless how healthy they may feel."