Sheridan Blue Cross Blue Shield agent Tammie Cowherd says she's been busy signing area residents up for insurance under the federal Affordable Care Act.
The local representative says she's personally helped more than 50 people sign up for coverage. Plus, she says, there are other brokers and agents in town who are authorized to sell Blue Cross coverage, and individuals can sign up themselves by going online to the federal healthcare.gov web site.
Blue Cross Blue Shield is one of two health insurance companies that offer coverage in Wyoming under the Affordable Care Act, which is also referred to as Obamacare. The other company, WINHealth, does not have a Sheridan office but can be contacted by phone or online.
Wyoming residents have until Monday to select a plan if they want coverage to start on Jan. 1. WINHealth announced on Wednesday that the company had extended the deadline another week, to Dec. 30. Blue Cross spokeswoman Wendy Curran says her company had not extended the deadline as of Thursday, but that Blue Cross remains open and liberal to changes when the federal guidelines allow. She also says the guidelines for coverage are changing frequently, so she recommends that individuals stay flexible and keep up with the latest updates in the coverage as they occur.
Representatives of both insurance companies say the federal healthcare web site is now much easier to use, and online enrollments have increased significantly. Wyoming residents still must buy a plan before March 31, if they want to avoid a tax penalty.