New Health and Human Services secretary promotes ACA enrollment

Sylvia Burwell in San Antonio to promote another healthcare enrollment period


SAN ANTONIO – Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell is the new face promoting a new round of signups under the Affordable Care Act.

She joined forces with community leaders Monday while visiting the New Creation Christian Fellowship Church in Windcrest.

After last year's embarrassing mega-glitch plaguing the governments enrollment website, Burwell said lessons were learned.

"We went from 10 days of testing to five weeks of testing," she said.

So far, the website -- www.healthcare.gov -- appears to be working smoothly.

Burwell encouraged those who enrolled last year to shop carefully when enrolling again.

"Twenty-five percent more issuers have come into the marketplace, so you do want to come back in and make sure you are getting the best plan for you from a quality perspective and affordability perspective," she said.

Last year, nearly 77,000 people in Bexar County signed up for coverage under the health care law. Community leaders' goal is to add another 47,000 for coverage  for next year.

"We need that opportunity in Texas and Bexar County where approximately 24 percent of our citizens do not have health insurance," said Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff.

The push is on even as the Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case that challenges the validity of the subsidies involved. Wording in the law means fewer Texans than other states receive the tax credits because Texas did not set up a state marketplace where people could shop for insurance. Texas uses the  federal marketplace instead.

"The United States Congress did not intend that some states would benefit and some would not," Burwell said.

Enrollment continues through February 15.

Community leaders have scheduled events to help people navigate enrollment. More information can be found at www.enrollsa.com.

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