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Advocates push for more to sign up for ACA

Brad Phenow

Wisconsin Public Radio

More people are signing up for the Affordable Care Act in far northern Wisconsin. But advocates are still pushing for more enrollment.

Northwest Concentrated Employment Program is still holding free information sessions across northwestern Wisconsin to help people learn about the insurance offered through the Affordable Care Act.

The sessions focus on getting rid of misconceptions about the Affordable Care Act and educating people on how the insurance can help people. Marcy Pratt is the project coordinator in Ashland, covering the far northern counties. She said they are kicking into high gear as the March 31 deadline nears.

“We’ve been doing quite a bit more marketing, and we’ve been getting quite a few more people into our educational events,” Pratt said.

She said these information sessions have been successful.

“Enrollments in Wisconsin are up, some of it because of the information we’re giving out,” Pratt said. “We know there is a lot of misinformation out there and a lot of misunderstanding of what the Affordable Care Act does.”

Pratt said as the deadline gets closer, they get busier.

“The last minute rush has already started. In January we didn’t have as many calls as we are getting now, a lot more people coming in for one-on-one assistance,” she said

According to the Health and Human Services report ending Feb. 1, more than 56,000 Wisconsinites have selected a market place plan — 43 percent between ages 55 and 64. Seventy percent who have signed up selected the silver plan.

Pratt said it’s important to sign up with enough time for the process to be complete.

“People should sign up for the Affordable Care Act by March 15 so they can have coverage by April 1,” she said.

She said if you remain uninsured past the deadline, you may face a fine on your 2014 taxes. The fine is a minimum of $95, or one percent of your income up to $285.

To apply for the insurance, go to, and for a list of future informational sessions visit