Northeast Times

Free Obamacare help is available

There are people out there who will help you find health in­sur­ance un­der the Af­ford­able Care Act, and giv­en that the law is so com­plex, you might need a little as­sist­ance fig­ur­ing out if you’re eli­gible. 

“People are hav­ing trouble,” Adam Penna of En­roll Amer­ica said, “be­cause the Af­ford­able Care Act is so massive.” 

It’s com­plic­ated and hard for every­one to un­der­stand, he said. Cer­ti­fied coun­selors will ask you ques­tions so they can help you, said Penna, but they won’t ask to be paid. If they do, walk away.

“If they ask you for money, they’re con artists,” Penna told North­east EPIC Stake­hold­ers gathered Nov. 21 in the Second Baptist Church of Frank­ford.

En­roll Amer­ica is a non­profit that is help­ing people fig­ure out if they can take ad­vant­age of the Af­ford­able Care Act and get health in­sur­ance. On Tues­day morn­ing, May­or Mi­chael Nut­ter an­nounced that city of­fices have joined forces to help the al­most quarter-mil­lion Phil­adelphi­ans who could be eli­gible for new health in­sur­ance op­tions un­der the act, ac­cord­ing to Pay­don Miller, an En­roll Amer­ica spokes­man.

“En­roll Amer­ica staff will be work­ing with many of the city of­fices and train­ing staff about the Af­ford­able Care Act and giv­ing them the re­sources to help the un­in­sured get ac­cess to af­ford­able care,” ac­cord­ing to Miller.

Penna told EPIC mem­bers on Nov. 21 that En­roll Amer­ica is work­ing to line up vo­lun­teer agen­cies to help as well.

Miller said people who go shop­ping in the new health in­sur­ance mar­ket­place should know all plans are sup­posed to of­fer 10 ba­sic ser­vices, in­clud­ing pres­cip­tion plans, pren­at­al care and emer­gency room cov­er­age.

The in­sur­ance mar­ket­place opened in Pennsylvania on Oct. 1. People can go in­to that mar­ket to find private health in­sur­ance plans that best serve their needs, Miller said, but every­body gets a ba­sic stand­ard of care.

Go to get­coveredamer­ica.org/cal­cu­lat­or to fig­ure out eli­gib­il­ity for fed­er­al help pay­ing for plans

Dec. 15 is the dead­line to get covered start­ing Jan. 1, 2014, Miller said. Open en­roll­ment closes March 31.

For more in­form­a­tion and help find­ing a coun­selor, vis­it en­rol­lamer­ica.org ••

You can reach at jloftus@bsmphilly.com.

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