JERSEY CITY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Enrollment specialists were on hand at City Hall in Jersey City Saturday, as officials kicked off the second enrollment season of the Affordable Care Act.

As WCBS 880’s Jim Smith reported, U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Reps. Albio Sires and Donald M. Payne Jr. (D-N.J.), and Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop were also all on hand for the event.

READ MORE: Man Slashed In Head Inside Times Square Subway Station

Edwin Rodriguez of Jersey City has been without health care for six months.

“It was terrible,” he said. “You can’t do things you want to do or you get hurt; you’re afraid to get hurt.”

Rodriguez came to Jersey City Hall to utilize personal one-on-one navigators to search for a plan he could afford.

“You’re unemployed and you don’t have extra money to pay for the benefits and stuff like that, so that’s why I’m like, hopefully this program will benefit me,” Rodriguez said.

Menendez advised that applicants should not give up until they saw the bottom line.

“You shouldn’t veto yourself for knowing the possibility that in fact, if you apply, you may very well be qualified for assistance,” he said.

READ MORE: Caught On Camera: Innocent Children Caught In Middle Of Brazen Shooting In The Bronx

Menendez said more than 80 percent of New Jersey enrollees last year qualified for subsidies, and this year, there are more plans to choose from.

After last year’s rough start, eyes around the country are on the website HealthCare.gov. Kevin Counihan is in charge of the site.

“We’ve had multiple ways in which we’ve kicked the tires on this system both internally and externally to see that it works and that it’s stable,” Counihan said.

Most people who enrolled for the Affordable Care Act last year will be renewed automatically. But officials said that might not be your best bet – participants are still encouraged to shop around for a possible better deal.

The open enrollment runs for three months.

Those without insurance in 2015 will face a much steeper fine this year.

You May Also Be Interested In These Stories

MORE NEWS: 'I Hope This Is The Beginning Of Something': Hundreds Flock To Harlem For Juneteenth Block Party

[display-posts category=”news” wrapper=”ul” posts_per_page=”4″]