Information Session About Affordable Care Act Held at Long Branc - WSPA.com

Information Session About Affordable Care Act Held at Long Branch Baptist Church

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The White House says President Obama will make a late-morning statement from the briefing room. The White House says President Obama will make a late-morning statement from the briefing room.

Dozens of people in the Upstate learned about the Affordable Health Care Act Saturday. Health care experts held an information session at Long Branch Baptist Church in Greenville.

New Horizon Family Health Services was on hand helping many people who never had insurance, apply for it. The agency set up at a church in Greenville because they felt it was a place that the community would feel comfortable asking questions.

Peggy Baxter told 7 On Your Side she believes people need to be aware of the opportunities out there for them to have insurance. Baxter is a deacon at the Long Branch Baptist Church, she is on the board of the NAACP as well as the New Horizon Health Services team.

Baxter said she is of a generation where her parents were the first to have health insurance. She said she learned the value of having it and wants to show others in the Upstate how valuable it is to have coverage.

"We want to be sure people know what they're entitled to they know where they can apply and those who are eligible come January first get insurance," said Baxter.

Greenville City Councilwoman Lillian Brock Flemming attended the information session and felt strongly that the sessions need to continue to be at a time and place where it is convenient for people.

"We need to go where the people are and this is where the people are," said Flemming.

She said Saturdays are better for most people because many she said will not be able to take off work to sign up for insurance. She also agreed with having the sessions in a community setting so others could spread the word and appeal to their families and friends.

Many people said they were having trouble understanding the new Health Insurance Marketplace. It tells you if you qualify for a private insurance plan or Medicaid and the Children’s health Insurance Program.

You can find more information about these options at healthcare.gov. It reads:

When you use the Health Insurance Marketplace, you'll fill out an application and see all the health plans available in your area. You'll provide some information about your household size and income to find out if you can get lower costs on your monthly premiums for private insurance plans. You'll learn if you qualify for lower out-of-pocket costs.

Some applicants also said it was difficult to decide which category they fell under at the Helathcare.gov website.

“I went online myself at home and I didn't know where I fell as an individual or self employed and they asked those questions and click, click, click and that's it,” said Janice Gambrell.

Gambrell was not able to get insurance previously because of her family’s pre existing conditions. She has two children in school and her husband has diabetes. She said getting health care for her family is most important.

Others said they would rather apply on paper. Counselors were able to help them fill out their paperwork and they should hear a response within 4 weeks.

Stephania Priester works with New Horizon and was a key player in setting up the free event. She encouraged everyone at the event to spread the word and bring others to future information sessions they plan to hold.

Priester said her counselors are trained to help applicants in any type of situation.

"Many she said may not qualify for insurance subsidies or tax credits but the applicants are trained to explain each individual situation and all of the applicants options," she said.

Priester assured applicants that they would get an area where they could privately discuss their financial information.

7 On Your Side will keep you updated with the latest information and give you word when the next sessions are scheduled.


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