Cville Nonprofit Guides People through Signing Up for Health Ins - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Cville Nonprofit Guides People through Signing Up for Health Insurance

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The deadline to enroll for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act is just weeks away.

This week, a Charlottesville-based nonprofit is helping uninsured people sign up for coverage to avoid facing penalties.

The Cville Enrolls Initiative is hosting a handful of sessions this week to break down the basics.

One woman who has taken advantage of the resource says the group helped her navigate through a complicated process.

"They were very helpful in just getting me comfortable with the idea of what was going to be available," Mary Bennett said.

With the help of Cville Enrolls, the 63-year-old started signing up for health insurance online the moment the marketplace opened.

"I started October 1, which is when the marketplace opened, and that was when Healthcare.gov was at its worst, and they were really just a lot of moral support," she said.

The group will be holding information sessions at libraries across central Virginia this week to answer 10 questions about the Affordable Care Act in 10 minutes.

"We help them make a decision, but they're the ones that decide what policy is best for them and their families," Jefferson Area Board for Aging and United Way volunteer Jack Hanrahan said.

Coordinators like Hanrahan says the initiative has helped hundreds of people successfully enroll for health insurance coverage.

"Every week, we're meeting with 45 different individuals and most of those get all the way through to enrolling in a policy," he said.

With a March 31 deadline just around the corner, organizers and people who have gone through the process say it's important to enroll now.

"If you don't enroll by March 31 and you don't qualify for any exemption to the law, you would be subject to a penalty on your taxes in 2015," Hanrahan said.

"I just think it's really important to have healthcare even if you're young, you don't know what's going to happen," Bennett said.

The first presentation will take place Monday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Central Library in downtown Charlottesville.

For a full list of this week's sessions, click here.

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