Austin nonprofit offering assistance enrolling in health insurance

Foundation Communities Prosper Programs

AUSTIN (KXAN) There’s a good chance you or someone you know doesn’t have health insurance.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Texas has the highest uninsured rate (17%) in the country.

Every year, more than a half a million American families file for bankruptcy due to medical bills.

This week, the deadline is fast approaching for people to sign up for 2024 marketplace health insurance through open enrollment.

Anyone hoping to have health care coverage by January 1st must sign up by Friday.

Open Enrollment technically extends through January 16th, although the start date for your coverage wouldn’t begin until February 1st.

In an effort to ensure Travis County residents don’t miss a month of health care, local nonprofit Foundation Communities is offering workshops to help people pick their coverage plan.

Dating back to 2013, this free enrollment program has helped over 50,000 Central Texans sign up for health insurance.

Kori Hattemer is the director of Prosper Programs at Foundation Communities.

“Medical procedures are very expensive if you don’t have health insurance,” she said. “We know how important it is to have health insurance, in terms of your overall health but also your financial well-being.”

This year, Travis County residents have 132 plans to choose from, provided by 10 insurers.

The Prosper Programs Director added that this can create confusion, which is why her staff is available to discuss healthcare needs based on budgets.

“More than 99% of the people that we enroll qualify for financial assistance,” Hattemer said. “Our experts know how to ensure you’re getting maximum financial assistance, lowering the cost of your premiums and deductibles.”

Jason Blum is a local musician, who’s been performing in Austin for over three decades.

This summer, he had a cervical spinal fusion surgery that was paid almost entirely by his health insurance.

His coverage plan was picked out during a workshop with experts at Foundation Communities.

“I’m a grown man and it’s overwhelming,” Blum said. “I have spent most of my life without insurance, so you get a person working with you and I’d make it a priority to get signed up.”

Foundation Communities is welcoming walk-in appointments — that are also offered over the phone — at its Prosper Centers in Austin.

Listed below are their hours of operations and office locations:

Prosper Center – North
5900 Airport Blvd. Austin, TX 78752
Monday – Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Friday – Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Prosper Center – South
2900 S. I-35 Frontage Road
Austin, TX 78704
Monday – Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Friday – Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

To sign up for a session online, you can visit the Foundation Communities website or call 512-381-4520.

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