New site opens Monday to help with Obamacare sign-ups

A new downtown location will be available to help people apply for health insurance at the healthcare.gov website, officials said.

The Lowcountry #getcovered Surge Center will open Monday at 360 Concord St. on Fountain Walk next to the South Carolina Aquarium. The center will operate weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Dec. 20, according to a press release.

State Rep. Wendell Gilliard, D-Charleston, said that on opening day he will bring a Christmas tree to the center to decorate with ornaments symbolic of people signing up for insurance through the Affordable Health Care Act.

Each decoration will represent an individual who was able to get coverage with the assistance of the center’s navigators or application counselors. The tree is scheduled to go up at 10 a.m. Monday.

Gilliard said South Carolina has more than 700,000 uninsured residents. According to Census estimates, there are more than 110,000 uninsured residents in the tri-county area.

“We’ll finally get over the glitches and we’ll see that this thing is going to work for the benefit of all the people,” Gilliard said.

The Surge Center says that it is looking for volunteers to help Gilliard set up the tree and hang the first decorations. For more information, contact lead navigator Loreen Myerson at 843-475-2859.

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