Mt. Vernon Register-News

December 3, 2013

NAACP to hold workshop

By TRAVIS MORSE travis.morse@register-news.com
The Register-News

---- — MT. VERNON — The NAACP of Jefferson County is hosting a special workshop on the Affordable Care Act at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 9 at the Corinthian Missionary Baptist Church, 1026 Newby Ave.

Organizers hope the event will help educate the public on the new health care law in terms of eligibility, how to enroll in the marketplace and other issues.

“The purpose of the meeting is to present solid information about the Affordable Care Act, the marketplace and the benefit of the insurance and how to apply,” said Sandi Williams, health care chair for the NAACP of Jefferson County. “A lot of times they’ll get information from someone else and word of mouth is not always the correct information.”

Williams said the workshop will feature at least two presenters from the Southern Illinois Health Care Foundation out of Collinsville.

And while the session is intended to be informational, those in attendance will also have the chance to receive help enrolling in the marketplace.

To do so, however, you must bring monthly income information, social security numbers, dates of birth for all household members and email addresses if you have them.

It will likely take about an hour for each person to enroll, Williams said. The order of enrollment will be determined the night of the workshop, likely on a first come, first served basis.

Williams said the workshop is being held in response to questions posed by local residents.

“I’ve had a couple people ask me specifically do I have any information on (the Affordable Care Act),” Williams said. “And I don’t have a lot of information so we reached out to the Southern Illinois Health Care Foundation so that they could provide a navigator to come to speak to our community about it.”

Ron Lash, president of the NAACP of Jefferson County, said now is an ideal time to have a workshop of this sort.

“We thought we might want to do something, especially since it’s getting close to the end of the enrollment period,” Lash said. “And even more so now since they’ve had some problems with the website and in trying to get that up. So we thought this would be a good time and a good opportunity to get that information out.”

Lash said the NAACP may schedule more workshops like this in the future, depending on the public’s response to the initial meeting.

In addition, the local NAACP is planning to hold a Health Care Career Fair next spring in conjunction with the Good Samaritan Regional Health Center.

This event will offer information on health care careers, as well as providing blood pressure screenings and other activities.

The fair has been tentatively scheduled for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 8, 2014, at the Rolland W. Lewis Community Building at Veterans Park.

For more information on the Dec. 9 workshop, contact Lash at 241-9004.