As the Dec. 23 deadline for open enrollment under the new healthcare law looms, local nonprofit Pisgah Legal Services is holding a navigation clinic this Thursday from 4 to 7 p.m. Volunteer "navigators" will be on hand "to help people explore their options for health insurance and subsidies to cover the cost of insurance through the Affordable Care Act."
In this set of short pieces, Xpress looks at the efforts of local organizations and "navigators" to help residents get coverage under the new healthcare law, the reactions they're seeing so far, information on how to connect with these services and on-the-ground perspectives from a couple of volunteer navigators.
Walt Roberson is, as he puts it, "an ol’ drill sergeant" and a Vietnam vet who spent more than 30 years working his beat as an Asheville police officer. He’s used to being tough, and at more than 6 feet tall, he’s probably never been a small man. But now 60, the retired city resident says he came close to "doing something stupid" after he left the force: He gained weight till he was pushing 400 pounds, had knee surgery, was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and got so depressed that suicide wasn't much too close in his mind.
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