An inside perspective

Here’s how volunteer navigator Jim Carillon of Pisgah Legal Services sees the process playing out so far:

My role isn't to advise people on what policy to choose under the Affordable Care Act, but to give them the information so they can make better choices. In general, folks I'm helping are finding that the alternatives that are offered are so much better than what they've been using. Since I'm a volunteer, I don't have any profit incentive to sell any particular plan.

We help them enroll through what's still a somewhat troublesome website or on paper. We invite people to come back after they're enrolled if they want more information. This is complicated, but that's why the navigators exist. We can help give them emotional support through what seems like an intimidating process, but once they have all the information, we've seen some people near the poverty level save almost $900 a month.

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