Understanding ‘Obamacare’

Published 8:59 am Monday, September 23, 2013

Presentation to give information for consumers


In about a week the first phase of “Obamacare” kicks in when, on Oct. 1, open enrollment begins in the Affordable Health Care Act.

Email newsletter signup

Becoming an informed consumer is the focus of an upcoming seminar at Ohio University Southern in Ironton.

“It is to give information to understand the steps that will benefit them and their family, to get the most out of the Affordable Care Act and how to approach it come Oct. 1,” said Ann Lemley, who will present the seminar. “They just don’t understand how it works.”

The presentation will be done by PowerPoint with Lemley discussing options for those with insurance, without insurance, on Medicare, on Medicare Advantage plans and in nursing homes.

On Oct. 1, those without insurance or unhappy with their plan can go to the health insurance marketplace to buy coverage.

“If you don’t have any. Or if you can’t afford what you have, they may be able to help,” Lemley said. “That is a maybe.”

Potential buyers can access the marketplace by telephone or computer 24/7. To gain more information about the marketplace, buyers can go to two websites — healthcare.gov, a government website or healthlawanswers.org, an AARP website. There navigators will offer information.

“Navigators are trained by the federal government to assist people in completing applications,” Lemley said.

After the presentation Lemley, who is an advocacy volunteer for AARP Ohio, will answer questions.

Those who do not get insurance will face an initial penalty of $95 or one percent of their income That goes up to $695 in 2016.

“They do have to have insurance in some way during 2014,” she said. “If they don’t, there is a penalty. If they choose that route, they have to pay the penalty, and they still don’t have insurance. They don’t get anything for the penalty.”

The free presentation will be in noon Thursday at the Rotunda at OUS.