CAP Services will host an information session on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – also called Obamacare – starting at 10 a.m. Wednesday, January 28, in its River Room at 1608 West River Drive, Stevens Point. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend.
Anthony Meier, a Wisconsin HealthCorps member and ACA Certified Assistance Counselor (CAC), will lead the hour-long session, sharing information, answering questions about the ACA, and helping people better understand their options.
“It’s very important that people explore every option they can for getting health insurance,” said Meier. “Health care costs are the leading cause of bankruptcy, so it’s vital for people to be protected from that. I also urge people not to wait until the last minute, as it will become more difficult to get help and to get documentation in order as the deadline approaches.”
The 2015 ACA open enrollment period ends February 15. After that, people can change plans for 2015 only after certain life events that involve a change in family status or loss of other health coverage.
“Many families could be one medical crisis away from financial ruin. Low-income households in particular don’t usually have discretionary income to pay for unexpected health costs. And yet they should be able to access quality and affordable health care when needed,” said Mary Patoka, CAP President and CEO.
At the session, people will be able to schedule an appointment with a CAC for one-on-one help navigating the marketplace. CACs help educate consumers about the health insurance exchanges and help them complete an application for coverage or plan changes.
Meier said many people coming off BadgerCare have been able to find affordable insurance on the marketplace. “I’ve seen people who are distraught because they got too many work hours to qualify for BadgerCare become overjoyed when they learn they can afford coverage, sometimes even $0 monthly premium,” he said.
People who are offered health insurance through their employer often don’t qualify for tax credits in the marketplace, but Meier said there are also many that do and may be able to get more affordable insurance. He will help people understand their options and can help people evaluate their individual options in follow up sessions.
Enrollment sessions generally take an hour. People need to bring a photo ID, and a social security card (for all family members who are applying for coverage). It is helpful to have their W-2 form from the previous year. Enrollment can be done on-line, by phone or by paper.
For additional information visit healthcare.gov or schedule an appointment with Meier by calling 715-345-5958 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Started in 2010, the Wisconsin HealthCorps is an AmeriCorps program run in conjunction between the Wisconsin Primary Health Care Association and the Wisconsin Public Health Association that places individuals who are interested in public health and health care in community-based, health-focused organizations across the state. Members serve 1700 hours over a one year commitment as community health workers, providing culturally competent health education and assistance to individuals in accessing and navigating the health care system.