District residents had a chance Saturday to get answers to questions about the new Affordable Care Act, and enroll in a health insurance plan.
D.C. Health Link organized the event at the Martin Luther King Junior Memorial Library in Northwest. Organizers say they were very pleased with the turnout.
"It has exceeded all of my expectations. There are people waiting to get some help," said Mila Kofman, executive director of D.C. Health Benefit Exchange Authority.
"People are very excited. For the first time they cannot be turned down for health insurance, their pre- existing conditions are covered; they are not charged more because they had medical needs in the past."
D.C. Health Link is the city's online marketplace where individuals, families, small business owners and their employees can shop for and select health insurance that meets their health needs and budgets.
"We have 267 product offerings for business owners and 34 product offerings for individuals," Kofman said. "Some business owners I talked with, I talked with one this morning he was really excited for the first time to be able to offer his workers choice of different insurance companies and different types of health insurance. People are really excited. They want to learn and they want to enroll."
D.C. residents who did not have a chance to attend Saturday's event can still get information about enrolling in a health insurance plan.
"All of our events are posted on our website, and there will be other opportunities to get in person help. If you prefer to do everything by yourself online you can do that at DCHealthLink.com," Kofman said.
On Friday, the Obama administration announced it was extending the deadline for people to sign up for health insurance on HealthCare.gov for coverage that begins in January. The new deadline to sign up is now December 23rd. The final deadline is March 31st.