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Caring Health Center to assist with ‘Obamacare’ transition


Sept. 13, 2013
Image courtesy of Photos.com

Image courtesy of Photos.com

By G. Michael Dobbs

news@thereminder.com

SPRINGFIELD – Caring Health Center has been selected with helping people with the questions about making the transition to a health insurance policy compliant with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), other wise known as Obamacare.

The Caring Health Center received a $196,000 grant to underwrite the program.

Dr. Jean Yang, the executive director of the Massachusetts Health Connector, said during a press event on Sept. 9 at the Caring Health Center, that because the ACA was modeled in part on the Massachusetts plan, state health officials have “already been doing this for a while.”

Yang said the state would undertake on Oct. 1 a “very aggressive outreach program” not only to enroll the 150,000 Bay State residents without insurance into a plan, but to identify those people who already have insurance of they are eligible for new federal subsidies.

“A lot of what we have is going to stay the same,” she said of the health insurance policies available through the Health Connector, “but there are differences.”

The transition to the new polices approved by the ACA must be completed by the state by March 31, 2014 and Yang said one way people can begin the process is by taking an online survey at MAhealthconnector.org after Oct. 1. She added the other two options for information are through the call center at 1-877-623-6765 or by contacting Caring health Center staff members Jacqueline Johnson at 739-1100 ext. 1016 or Lydia Sanchez at ext. 2137.

Johnson said there would be 19 onsite translators to help those for whom English is a second language understand their health insurance options.

Yang said the provision offered by the ACA are “absolutely positive” and noted how the expansion of subsidies for health insurance can solve “real financial problems of families.”

She, for example, said the ACA would make it more affordable for a low-wage worker to pay for a health insurance policy offered by an employer.

“The ACA fills in a number of holes,” Yang said.

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