Healthcare providers and community organizations across the country that have been designated as certified application counselors to help consumers enroll in health plans on the new state health insurance exchanges are still waiting for their staff to receive certification because of delays by state and federal officials.
“People have called who would be eligible to purchase private insurance,” said Sally Goodman, a health promotion associate with the Erie Family Health Center located on Chicago's near West Side. “Unfortunately, we don't have anyone currently who's qualified to help people enroll in the health insurance marketplace yet.”
Erie is one of a number of providers that said they were experiencing delays in assisting people with enrolling because they either were still waiting for staff members to complete training or were waiting for them to receive federal certification.
Certified application counselors are organizations that have designated staff members to help guide people through the online insurance marketplaces established under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. CAC staff members are required by the federal government to undergo five hours of online training and pass an exam to become certified. Some states require counselors to receive additional training.