TAMPA — Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn will open city recreation centers in three neighborhoods during March to encourage residents to sign up for insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
The law, often called Obamacare, has a March 31 deadline for people to sign up for coverage this year.
Buckhorn announced Tuesday a schedule of one midweek and six weekend events saimed at enrolling up to 90,000 city residents who the mayor says lack insurance. The events start Saturday.
“All of us pay when an uninsured person walked into an emergency room with a chronic illness that could have been treated earlier and cheaper,” Buckhorn said in a written statement.
The events are the mayor’s latest effort to encourage people to use Obamacare, which provides subsidies in some cases to help people buy the insurance it mandates.
In recent months, Buckhorn has hosted Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of health and human services, and Shaun Donovan, secretary of housing and urban development. Both came to Tampa to promote the Affordable Care Act and to encourage people to enroll. HUD Secretary Donovan made his pitch at Encore!, the HUD-funded redevelopment of the former Central Park Village housing project.
The schedule for the weekend enrollment events is:
♦ 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., March 1 at the Hunt Center, Al Lopez Park, 4810 N. Himes Ave.
♦ 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., March 8 at the Jackson Heights Center, 3310 E. Lake Ave.
♦ 4 to 8 p.m., March 12 at the Hunt Center.
♦ 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., March 15 at Springhill Center, 1000 E. Eskimo Ave.
♦ 3 to 8 p.m., March 16 at the Springhill Center.
♦ 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., March 22 at Port Tampa Center, 4702 W. McCoy St.
♦ 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., March 29 at the Hunt Center, Al Lopez Park.
No appointment is necessary.
Each location will have more than 10 health-care navigators on hand to help register people for insurance coverage. Anyone coming to sign up should bring these documents:
♦ Social Security card
♦ Verification of birth dates
♦ Pay stubs or W-2 forms
♦ Policy numbers for any current health insurance plan.
♦ Information about insurance available through an employer,
ACA navigators are already available from 4-7 p.m. weekdays through the end of March at the city’s busiest rec centers.