Jefferson Regional Medical Center led a successful team effort Thursday in delivering guidance to area residents on signing up for insurance coverage under the federal Affordable Care Act.

Jefferson Regional Medical Center led a successful team effort Thursday in delivering guidance to area residents on signing up for insurance coverage under the federal Affordable Care Act.


The day-long initiative at JRMC’s Henslee Conference Center was overseen by the Arkansas Insurance Commission, which is directed by former White Hall and Pine Bluff state legislator Jay Bradford. Agencies providing assistance to individuals and families seeking coverage while facing a March 31 enrollment deadline were the Arkansas Department of Health, Arkansas Navigator Coalition, Central Arkansas Library System, Community Health Center, Options for Life Services, Southern United Neighborhood, and Hope, Restoration and Wellness Learning Center.


Coordinating the service were JRMC project analysts Carri Langley and Clara Wiley.


"This is a great group of people to work with," Wiley said.


Wiley noted that officials weren’t surprised by a good turnout, as widespread marketing efforts — including a video showing — had been made to alert the public to the event.


JRMC spokeswoman Lisa Rowland said the event’s venue provided people with one-on-one assistance.


Rowland drew a testimonial from Fred Martin and his wife, Carolyn Martin, of Pine Bluff. A retired Wonder Bread salesman, the 65-year-old Fred Martin is on Medicaid, but with assistance received at the information exchange was able to obtain enhanced health insurance coverage at a 50-percent savings for his 63-year-old wife. The couple married 43 years ago.


"The people here made the process very simple and easy to understand," Martin said. "If you’re ready to provide the information they need to get you signed up, it’s not difficult at all. They had answers to all of our questions. Everyone had a positive attitude and they will bend over backward to help you. I would recommend this service to everyone."


Rowland said JRMC plans to host another such event before the enrollment deadline.