Enroll Indiana week kicks off today

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Hoosiers without insurance are the focus of several events planned during Enroll Indiana week which starts today.

Organized by Covering Kids and Families, the week-long series is aimed at raising public awareness of Americans, and Hoosiers, without health insurance while calling on lawmakers and business leaders to make covering the uninsured a top priority.

It's estimated nearly one in five (non-elderly) Hoosiers are without health insurance.

The Covering Kids and Families of Indiana Program Director, Pamela Humes, says "We know that because of the new health care law going into effect there are a lot of people who just never really thought about having health insurance and those numbers are going to increase exponetially by October when we start the enrollment process."

The new health care law, the Affordable Care Act, takes effect January 1st. It would, among other things, require insurance companies to provide coverage without cost sharing for preventive services like screenings, mammograms, and flu shots for children and adults.

Enrollment is later this year, but today the idea behind Enroll Indiana week is to shed light on the uninsured, who make up about 16 percent of the non-elderly in Indiana.

"A lot of people go into bankruptcy because they don't have health insurance to pay for bills because the medical providers are sending them bills or sending them to bankruptcy to help pay for those services. So having health insurance before you need it is absolutely essential for people and that's part of what the health care law is trying to address," explains Humes.

Two Enroll Indiana events are taking place Tuesday. One will provide health screenings for women at the Marion County Public Health Department (3838 N. Rural). The other is a town hall style meeting where community leaders will discuss the Affordable Care Act. That takes place at the Warren Performing Arts Center.

Other events are scheduled for later in the week.