Health care act info sessions upcoming
by Jason Lowrey
Mar 06, 2014 | 1165 views | 0 0 comments | 36 36 recommendations | email to a friend | print
With the March 31 open enrollment deadline approaching, information sessions on the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare,” are scheduled throughout the month in an attempt to answer any questions Bartow County residents may have about enrolling.

University of Georgia Health Navigator Nykita Scott will be hosting a free information session Saturday, March 15, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Bartow County Extension Office, 312 W. Cherokee Ave., Cartersville. The information session will be the second she has presented in less than a month.

“No matter where I’m presenting, it’s essentially the same information. It’s just the basics of the law, how people can enroll, kind of explain how the website is comprised and how to navigate through the website if you are interested in enrolling and just answering any questions people may have heard or are confused about,” Scott said. “Sometimes the questions go far beyond what’s in the presentation. The presentation is just the tip of the iceberg.

“I’m not tailoring it to Bartow County, but it’s going to be the same information just to make sure everybody understands what’s going on when we talk about the Affordable Care Act.”

One recurring question, Scott said, focused on the penalties people may incur if they do not sign up for health insurance.

“I’ve kind of noticed when I do presentations people will get kind of upset or hesitant when I start talking about the penalty, but I think that’s because of the fact that they don’t understand that there are also exemptions to the penalty. You always hear that you either have to have insurance or [be penalized], but no one ever really talks about the exemption where you won’t be penalized,” she said.

In addition to the UGA-sponsored information session, Cartersville Medical Center will host two seminars focused on health insurance options and one-on-one enrollment assistance. According to a press release, CMC has hired Jennifer Lunk as a certified navigator to have on site in order to assist individuals.

Lunk will host two free seminars this month at classrooms in CMC, according to the release. The first seminar is scheduled for Tuesday, March 11, at 6 p.m. and the second is scheduled for Thursday, March 27, at 6 p.m.

Although enrollment has been open since Oct. 1, 2013, Scott said there is still a need to inform the public on what options are available through the health care act.

“Different presentations I’ve done, some people still don’t know anything about it. They don’t have any sort of information to base it on, only just a few things they may have heard in the news,” she said. “So I can’t say that it’s been any easier or harder. It’s been about the same just depending on who I’m presenting to and what setting I’m in.

“... I think the information needs to get out there in any way it can. Of course, not everyone can come to presentations, but we do these with hopes that people will be able to have one outlet on how they get that information.”

To sign up for the March 15 UGA information session, call the Bartow County Extension Office at 770-387-5142 or email uge1015@uga.edu. For questions relating to the information session, call Scott at 770-254-2620.

To register for one of the CMC health care seminars, those interested are asked to call MedLine at 1-800-242-5662. For more information, or to schedule an appointment for enrollment assistance, call Lunk at 770-382-1530, ext. 1198.