Meridian, Miss. Greater Meridian Health Clinic is taking steps to help make enrolling in the new Federal Healthcare Marketplace easier. GMHC is the only agency certified by the federal government to work with application enrollment in East Mississippi.
"To help, we are trying to implement this program in the most cost effective way that we most possibly can do it," says GMHC CEO Wilbert Jones. He says to cut down on travel costs, and utilize personnel more efficiently, his agency is offering teleconferencing for people to enroll. To take advantage of this, people can go to a GMHC site in their area and teleconference with trained enrollment specialists who work at the agency's office in Meridian. During the teleconference these specialists do all of the work needed to enroll individuals in a plan.
"We can do it from an I-pad, and it is secure," says Jones. "We can do it from a desk top computer. We can do it from the monitors that you see in this room."
Because of recent widespread technical problems with the federal website to register, officials at Greater Meridian Health Clinic are using other methods to help people enroll for insurance coverage.
"What we're doing is calling the 1-800 number, and we're actually getting them with the manual applications over the telephone completed," says GMHC Outreach Director, Beverly Hearn.
As work continues to make the system more efficient, officials at Greater Meridian Health Clinic say it currently takes almost an hour to complete the process. In order for a person to enroll, they say certain items are needed.
"They need to have social security numbers for everyone that they want to put on the application, and also any kind of form to show their current income like W2's or current check stubs," says GMHC Counselor Ashley Evans.
Greater Meridian Health Clinic has six trained specialists who are currently handling insurance enrollment. The non-profit agency is a Federally Qualified Health Center. It's based in Meridian and serves: Lauderdale, Kemper, Winston, Noxubee and Oktibbeha counties.