When Florida District 88 Rep. Bobby Powell hosted a Healthcare Exchange Enrollment Fair Town Hall on Tuesday, at Gaines Park in West Palm Beach, it was just another effort by public health and elected officials to share the wealth of information available for the many South Floridians who don’t understand “Obamacare.”
One of four Floridians is without health insurance. That’s the second highest rate of uninsured in the nation. A key part of the Patient
Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) – the national health care reform law often dubbed Obamacare, which takes effect in 2014 – is the new way to buy health insurance called the Health Insurance Marketplace or Exchange.
Powell partnered with the Urban League of Palm Beach County, the county Health Care District and other healthcare organizations to bring federally trained Healthcare Navigators, health professionals and
local nonprofit agencies to help answer questions regarding enrollment in the exchange. Those who missed it or need any additional information can get connected by calling 561-650-6880.
In Broward County the League of Women Voters is partnering with the library system, AARP, county hospitals and the health department to present a series of free educational sessions explaining the law, at library locations throughout the county through Nov. 16.
All workshops are free and open to the public. The presentations will address who is covered, what is covered, how to sign up, the latest information regarding the online market place, and where people will be able to purchase insurance. Call 954-735-1311 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for Affordable Care Act 101 workshop dates and locations.
To call the Miami-Dade County Health Department is to be referred to the Healthcare Exchange Marketplace (1-800-318-2596). Meanwhile, hospitals and community health centers, healthcare organizations and other institutions are actively facilitating the ACA’s transition, in the county with Florida’s largest number of uninsured residents younger than 65.
Among them, Miami Dade College will host a series of Enroll America health insurance workshops to provide information and assistance to students and the community on Nov. 7, 16 and 23. RSVP at getcoveredamerica.org/pages/health-insurance-marketplaces-workshop
Like Miami-Dade, Monroe County’s health department and other institutions are limited to varying degrees by Gov. Rick Scott’s opposition to ACA. The politics continue to play out as Scott, along with other Republicans in the state and nationwide, work to scuttle the signature legislative accomplishment of President Barack Obama, a Democrat.
From David Simas, deputy senior advisor at the White House, comes the reminder that Americans who want health insurance will be able to go to healthcare.gov.
“They’ll be able to compare plans based on their needs, and they’ll be able to sign up for quality, affordable health coverage,” Simas said. “There are folks out there with questions about what this law means for them. It’s on all of us to make sure those questions are answered. That’s the only way this is going to work.
“Our team has put together a great video that unpacks the law, piece by piece, in an incredibly simple way,” Simas added. “It explains exactly what (the change) is going to mean for those millions of folks who need coverage.”
The video is at whitehouse.gov/share/what-obamacare-means-you “Take a look, but don’t let it stop with you,” Simas said. “We all know at least one person who either doesn’t have insurance, or wants to know more about the law. Forward this on to other folks who you know need to see it.”