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      Local health center helping rural areas apply for health insurance

      With open enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace closing on March 31, the Northeast Missouri Health Council is still available to assist people with the process.

      Certified Application Counselor Brenda Mitchell says that the healthcare.gov website has improved since the glitches when it first went online last fall.

      People have scheduled appointments with the the non-profit health center in Kirksville for help on applying for the about 20 health insurance plans available.

      But they've noticed many people from rural northeast Missouri areas have not yet applied because they don't have the time to drive to Kirksville for help.

      "It's hard to breakaway from work and school to come down. The weather has been a very big factor in people not getting out. Also, there was a lot of concern in the beginning with all the negative issues that were coming out. People were just not ready to look into it until they made sure this plane was ready to fly," Mitchell said.

      Mitchell said the Northeast Missouri Health Council has held community meetings in towns including Milan and Edina to help residents get more information and set up an appointment to apply for health insurance.

      More of those informational meetings are to be scheduled in the next month in all northeast Missouri counties.

      If you would like to make an appointment with Northeast Missouri Health Council Certified Application Counselors Brenda Mitchell and Jocelyn Eppich to talk about or need help with Health Insurance Marketplace, call (660) 988-3669 or (660) 988-3892 from 8 a.m. through 5 p.m. weekdays.