Macon digital volunteers ready for ‘Everyone On Day’

alopez@macon.comOctober 25, 2013 

  • ‘Everyone On Day’ locations and info

    Coaching on basic computer, Internet and social media skills will be available at four Macon locations from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday:

    -- Washington Memorial Library (1180 Washington Ave.)
    -- The Adult Learning Center at Central Georgia Technical College (3300 Macon Tech Drive)
    -- The Buck Melton Center (150 Sessions Drive)
    -- The Family Investment Center (905 Main St.)

    For more information on affordable Internet service through Connect2Compete and Cox Communications, call 855-222-3252.

    For more information on affordable computer systems through Quality Computer Systems, call 478-474-0861.

    Source: Connect2Compete

More than 20 volunteers are ready to provide free digital training during Saturday’s “Everyone On Day” at four Macon locations.

The volunteers will be available at the Washington Memorial Library, Central Georgia Technical College, the Family Investment Center and the Buck Melton Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

They will be working with people wanting to learn basic computer and Internet skills, how to find jobs online and how to sign up for programs like Connect2Compete, the Bibb County Schools portal (which allows parents access to student grades and teacher notes) and the health insurance exchange.

Basic computer coaching will include how to work with a mouse, keyboard and printer. Internet coaching will cover how to use a browser and search engines. Technical experts from Quality Computer Systems also will be available for troubleshooting help.

For people wanting to set up and learn how to use social media, several volunteers will be able to help with that as well.

Mary Robinson, Bibb County program manager for Connect2Compete who is coordinating the event, stressed to her volunteers this week that “there are no dumb questions.”

Connect2Compete has partnered locally with Cox Communications to offer low-priced Internet service, and with Quality Computer Systems to offer low-priced computer systems for qualifying families.

“Everyone On Day” in Macon is part of Connect2Compete’s mission to “connect every last American to the power of the Internet.”

Registering for health insurance

Tamra Allen received her health navigator license Oct. 18. She hasn’t yet enrolled people in the health insurance exchange, but she has spent the past three weeks presenting information to groups wanting to know more about the Affordable Health Care law.

She said other navigators have told her the process of enrolling via the federal website can take anywhere from 45 minutes for individuals to 90 minutes for those with dependents.

Allen said she will be ready to go through the entire process Saturday at Washington Memorial Library.

People also can sign up for the health insurance exchange by phone or mail application.

In order to sign up, Allen said, people need to know their annual incomes, their Social Security numbers and the numbers of dependents in their house.

“That sounds easy,” she said, “but a lot of people forget to bring their W2s and they estimate their income, and they actually need to know the accurate numbers to get the best information.”

Other volunteers well-versed in the enrollment process who are not yet licensed as navigators will be available at the Family Investment Center and the Buck Melton Center courtesy of First Choice Primary Care.

Katherine McLeod and her staff at First Choice are available to assist people with health insurance questions beyond Saturday at 478-787-4266. She said they answer email questions at marketplace@firstchoiceprimarycare.org.

To contact writer Andres David Lopez, call 744-4382.

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