Mt. Vernon Register-News

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October 11, 2013

ACA workshop answers questions

MT. VERNON — To local insurance agent Bill Kelton, keeping yourself informed is the best way to navigate the complexities of the new health care law.

Kelton was one of 10 area residents to attend a special workshop Thursday night on the Affordable Care Act, which was offered at Crossroads Community Hospital.

He said informational meetings like that one are a key part of educating the public on the ACA.

“It's confusing. I think everybody needs to come to one of these and learn about this,” Kelton said. “I got a look at the (insurance) plans today, but still there's a lot of information that I need to pick up. I'm more interested for myself, but then I can also pass it on to other people because I know everybody has questions.”

The workshop, which lasted roughly an hour, presented a broad overview of the new law and its many provisions.

The instructors were Lisa Fager, director of business office services for Crossroads, and Debi Richardson, director of marketing and public relations for the hospital. Questions were also taken from the audience.

Richardson said it would be impossible to tell each person in attendance what their benefits will be under the new law and what they will pay, since there are many determining factors.

The cost of insurance in the new Health Insurance Marketplace can depend on where you live, your age, your family size, whether you use tobacco, what level of coverage you purchase, and how large a subsidy you qualify for, Richardson said.

“It is totally individualized and there's no way (of knowing) without going through the actual application process,” Richardson said.

Still, Richardson hoped the meeting would add to the public's knowledge on this often confusing issue.

“We are trying to explain it at a level that people can either understand or ask intelligent questions,” Richardson said.

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