NEW ORLEANS – If you have not yet signed up for health insurance for next year, time is running out.
The 2019 Open Enrollment Period deadline is December 15, and if you have not signed up for healthcare throughout HealthCare.gov, you will be uninsured until 2020 unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.
Here at home, a local outreach organization 504 Health Net is working to connect the local community with insurance and healthcare. The organization is connected with more than 60 health centers, clinics and dental office throughout southeast Louisiana and has certified counselors available at a number of locations.
"If anyone has a question about health insurance, Medicaid, the marketplace, 504 Health Net is here to help answer some of those questions,” executive director Tiffany Netters said.
504 Health Net is also working on an initiative with the New Orleans Tourism and Marketing Corportation to help more hospitality workers get insured.
"A lot of hospitality workers in New Orleans currently don't have health insurance because their employers are a small restaurant or a small bar," Netters said. "And so, they're not able to afford to provide health insurance for their employees."
The Coquette Restaurant in Uptown is one of the restaurants that have benefited from 504 Health Net's work. The business is working to offer all of its employees health insurance next year, but for now they need help.
"I can call them anytime after hours and they want to help," Coquette restaurant manager Mandi Brodelon said. "I have a staff member who got really sick unexpectedly. And I was able to refer him to a hospital that has a really good financial aid program, so that when he is able to pay that bill. It's not going to totally break his bank.”
For more information about 504 Health Net, visit the organization's website or call 504-658-2053.