Group helps Osceola County residents sign up for health insurance



OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. - Channel 9 has been reporting on problems with the website for weeks, and now the Osceola County Council on Aging is trying to get help for those who need it to sign up for insurance through exchanges set up by the Affordable Care Act.

Research shows 1 in 4 residents of Osceola County are uninsured, so it's an area where leaders are walking residents through the signup process.

Organizers said was working earlier, but as the day wore on and more people tried to access it, it slowed down.

Minutes after Channel 9 arrived at an enrollment event for the Affordable Care Act, breast cancer survivor Norma Iris Orta-Simmons broke down in tears as she talked about patients she met on her journey.

"I can see a lot of people dying because they don't have insurance. I don't think it's fair," she said.

Orta-Simmons couldn't return to work after her last surgery, and she's been paying $451.28 a month for Cobra insurance for more than a year.

She's hoping the Affordable Care Act will help her find a better option.

Organizers said enrollment has been slower than planned because the website has been down, so in many cases, they're just signing people up by phone.

"We're there to help them step through that process and make sure it's happening in a clean way," said project coordinator Anne Packhan.

It took Orta-Simmons a little more than an hour to go through the signup process. She said she may qualify for a plan that could cost her only $30 a month.

LINK: PCAN Orange County