HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Federal officials made a stop in Hattiesburg Tuesday, as part of a statewide tour to boost enrollment numbers for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
Representatives from the Dept. of Health and Human Services met local health officials, hospital administrators and folks from various service organizations at a community forum at Forrest General Hospital. The focus was on getting more uninsured and underinsured people to sign up for the ACA and how faith-based organizations can help.
The open enrollment period for this year ends Feb. 15.
"We have an obligation to all the communities that we serve to assist people who are uninsured, to help them, to educate them, and let them know about subsidies that are available to help them," said Pat Riley, director of insurance operations at Forrest General Hospital.
"Our concern is, with February 15th fast approaching, that people know and they've had a chance to evaluate it and understand it, because otherwise it will be next fall, next October or November, before they will have a chance to (enroll) again," said Deric A. Gilliard, a public affairs specialist with the Dept. of Health & Human Services.
The open enrollment period for this year began last November.
The tour also stopped in Biloxi Tuesday. It began Monday, with visits to Jackson and Greenville. It wraps up Wednesday with meetings in Starkville and Holly Springs.