TOPEKA (KSNT) – Enrollment for 2015 health insurance is underway and the Shawnee County Health Agency is helping people sign up for government mandated healthcare insurance.
As anyone who’s been to the healthcare.gov website can tell you, it’s a bit intimidating.
now imagine if you spoke very little English trying to understand it.
“I think is the important thing, understanding the policies that they’re going to get,” Shawnee Co. Health Agency Navigator Gregoria Cabrera said.
Cabrera says it’s difficult for many Spanish speakers to understand and enroll in the mandatory health insurance programs. She’s a navigator – who specializes in helping those who’s primary language is Spanish.
The federal government requires each navigator to take a 20 hour training course, which consists of 14 tests before they help anyone sign up for insurance.
The majority of people who use the agency’s medical clinic tend to be Hispanic and don’t have insurance. That’s why getting them enrolled is so important, but it’s also important for anyone without health insurance to sign up.
“A lot of times they haven’t been able to get health insurance due to preexisting condition medical conditions or maybe financially they just couldn’t afford it,” Shawnee Co. Health Agency Spokesperson Misty Kruger said.
Cabrera says part of her job is to simply translate the English on the web into Spanish, but another part is helping them make a choice.
“This is what we do, we just help people find or enroll in a program that they’re eligible for,” Cabrera said.
The challenge is getting everyone enrolled by the federal deadline of February 15th. The county plans to have more assisting events. The next one will be on December 8th from 9 a.m to 8 p.m. You can also make an appointment to get help at the agency by calling them at (785) 251 – 2000.