New Program Helps Uninsured Get Healthcare - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

New Program Helps Uninsured Get Healthcare

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The Affordable Care Act means thousands of uninsured people in our area need to sign up for coverage.    

Genesis Health Systems has been chosen by the federal government to help you sign up.  

Those who are uninsured can start signing up online October first for coverage that will start January, 1st 2014. They'll have until March 31st next year to sign up, or face fees.      

The new program through Genesis called 'Navigators' will be tasked with finding those who need insurance and educating them on the options. 

"Our goal is to try and reach 11,000 people and enroll them with insurance that do not have insurance," Community Health Supervisor Michele Cullen says. 

The program will work with different organizations to track down people who might not have insurance. 

"We'll look at different homeless shelters, the churches, the schools, just any organization that has the population of those that are under and uninsured," Cullen says. 

The group will be reaching out to those living at the poverty level, young adults, and more.  

"It'll be reaching out also to those that qualify for the Medicaid expansion," Cullen says. 

It will also be educating them on their options.  

"There are those that are at the federal poverty rate that feel they can't afford insurance," Cullen says, "There are tax credits they'll be eligible for to help them pay for these premiums." 

The Navigators will also be walking them through the sign up process on the 'Healthcare Insurance Marketplace' online, where they'll pick for a plan that works for them. 

"We will be educated on those sites and helping those people navigate through the marketplace and not making the decision for them, but giving them the education to make the decision best for them," Cullen says. 

Healthcare providers hope getting people signed up for health insurance will cut down on expensive emergency room costs, where so many without insurance typically end up to get help. 

"If you take care of yourself, you go to the doctor, have a regular checkup, you're getting your immunizations, you're getting your flu shot, your chances of developing a chronic disease are less and it decreases the chance of the chronic disease and also the cost of healthcare going up," Cullen says.  

Program organizers plan to have a hotline set up and sign up locations in the near future to help people get their healthcare plans.

To find out more about your healthcare options if you're uninsured, visit: www.healthcare.gov  and http://marketplace.cms.gov/

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