HOBOKEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — As the period to enroll for new federal health care insurance nears, many American will be able to receive information and sign up for a plan at a Rite Aid drug store.
U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced Monday at a Rite Aid in Hoboken that independent insurance agents will be placed at 2,000 of the pharmacy chain’s stores nationwide starting in October, WCBS 880’s Monica Miller reported.
When the enrollment period for uninsured Americans opens Oct. 1, about 900,000 residents in New Jersey and about two million in New York will become eligible for benefits, Sebelius said.
The health secretary said that providing information at a drug store makes sense because pharmacists are on the front lines of health care.
“Even as more of our friends go online for information about health care, many still like a face-to-face conversation,” she said.
Rite Aid chairman John Standley said the agents don’t work for any of the insurers who offer policies under the new law but will earn a commission for policies they sell.
New Jersey Republican Steve Lonegan, a U.S. Senate candidate, held a news conference across from the Hoboken Rite Aid calling for an end to the plan’s mandate that Americans purchase health care or pay a penalthy.
“We don’t force consumers to buy iPhones, and they sell,” he said. “We don’t force consumers to buy Viagra, do we? But Rite Aid sells it, quite profitably. Let them sell their own products. We must delay the individual mandate.”
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