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Archive for Monday, September 30, 2013

Lawrence gets full-time navigator for Affordable Care Act

September 30, 2013

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Rosilyn Wells wants everyone in Lawrence to know her name and face. Many of them soon will.

For the next several months Wells will serve as the community's resource for the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, which requires that nearly every American have health insurance and provides tax credits for those who can't afford it.

Rosilyn Wells

Rosilyn Wells

Wells, the only full-time Affordable Care Act navigator in Lawrence, will work out of Heartland Community Health Center, 1 Riverfront Plaza, Suite 100, but she'll help anyone in the area who has questions about the 2010 health care law. With a major piece of it to be unveiled Tuesday — its online health insurance marketplace — Wells plans to be busy. In addition, Kansas, unlike several other states with Republican-controlled legislatures, has not restricted the activities of its navigators.

"I'm here to help educate people and answer their questions about the Affordable Care Act, and help them with the enrollment process if need be," she said.

She plans to spend much of her time informing people, as she has at a couple of recent public events, that the law even exists. "I'm trying to go to every fair, every school carnival," said Wells, 40, who also will be participating in several upcoming Affordable Care Act-related forums in Lawrence. "I just want to get everybody to know who I am in Lawrence and surrounding areas."

Part of her job will consist of apologizing to people who will not be helped by the health care law. Because Kansas has elected not to participate in the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion, an estimated half of Douglas County's 16,000 uninsured residents are expected to continue to go without coverage.

Wells, whose position of outreach and enrollment specialist is supported through a federal grant, was hired to work in Heartland's front office in May but later applied for the navigator opportunity. She has previous experience with the health care industry, working for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and as a volunteer for Senior Health Insurance Counseling for Kansas.

There will be other trained navigators in Lawrence, plus certified application consultants, who, unlike navigators, cannot enroll consumers or small business owners in the online marketplace. But Wells is the only one doing it full time. She can even go to people's homes if they can't get to Heartland, and the health center has a Spanish translator available.

Those interested in making an appointment with Wells can reach her at 785-841-7297, ext. 219, or rwells@heartlandhealth.org.

Comments

Sue McDaniel 11 months, 3 weeks ago

So I am wondering what the budget is for all these "Navigators" all over the country? Why would we pass this if it is so hard to "navigate"? Sounds like another program ripe for fraud to me. Have these people been trained? I do not mean to kill the messenger but this is just odd to say the least.

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FarleyM 11 months, 3 weeks ago

If you have nothing to begin with, these people navigating your medical life will be fine.

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madcow 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Probably far less than the budget for idiots spewing misinformation every chance they get.

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Seth Peterson 11 months, 3 weeks ago

It is not hard to navigate, the problem is the constant misinformation which is spewed about and gobbled up has created the need for this. If the conservimedia wasn't so dishonest there would be less damage to undo in helping people to understand.

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Mike Ford 11 months, 3 weeks ago

to counteract the earth is square mentality that is so prevalent today I'll share what I did. two months ago I got on the Kaiser Health Calculator typed in our taxable household income, how many people in household, how many children, smoking or non smoking, and how many people signing up. In recent weeks they asked for a zip code and state. We were told our cost for silver healthcare for two people with $28K in income was $1555 for a year. Yes being 182% of poverty for two people got us a tax credit since poverty for two people is $15K. Being below 250% of poverty got us a credit. I've worked 16 years fulltime and last paid almost $300 for myself alone monthly so this is a good deal. Two of the companies in the exchange are BCBS KC and Coventry as far as I know.

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Shardwurm 11 months, 3 weeks ago

On behalf of everyone else in the country subsidizing your 'good deal' - You're welcome.

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grammaddy 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Are you as upset about your money subsidizing Big Oil, Big Pharma and Corporate America while they make billions in profits as you are about the poor obtaining health insurance? I'm sure they are thanking you also.

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Shelley Bock 11 months, 3 weeks ago

You forgot mentioning the Rep. Heulskamp family farm subsidy and that subsidy paid to his relatives.

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nick_s 11 months, 3 weeks ago

And if it had been implemented without these "navigators" the nay-sayers would be complaining that it was too complicated & that the government provided no help. Id say that it is a must that these people be there to help, since there are so many changes & nuances that could make it very difficult for someone to choose without any guidance, & an individuals health is not something to take lightly. It is not that the law was written in such a complex fashion so as to purposely confuse people. I think its a testament to how complicated health issues are in general, & that NO blanket policy could be written in plain terms to cover every single person. Didnt they have these kinds of "navigators" when all the changes were made to Medicaid & werent those changes made under G.W. Bush's watch?

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jafs 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Yes.

But, I have to say that it seems to be overly complex to me - I'm sure that there are simpler ways to deal with health care.

0

chootspa 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Yes. A single-payer system is simpler, more effective, and cheaper to run.

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FarleyM 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Yes. Simpler. The government would cut out the middleman, insurance company. This way they get all the money like a monopoly should.

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nick_s 11 months, 3 weeks ago

If the government really wanted to take all of your money, what is stopping them from already doing it? Hmm...

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FarleyM 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Government types take over half our money now. Unless of course, you're on the dole.

They do not take "all" your money, to keep up appearances.

0

chootspa 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Actually, they'd get less of it. We spend more per capita taxpayer money on healthcare right now than countries with single payer systems do, and we don't have better health outcomes to show for it.

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Mari Aubuchon 11 months, 3 weeks ago

I could not agree more, Chootspa!

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avarom 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Ask one question....If I receive subsidies from the government, will I ever have to pay it back, if or when I go back to work.. Or, will the government just garnish my wages.

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deec 11 months, 3 weeks ago

I'd guess a lot of the people eligible for subsidies are already employed.

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chootspa 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Most of the people eligible for subsidies are already employed. The better question would be what happens to your subsidies if you get a raise or better job.

0

jafs 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Since they're based on income, if you earn more, you get subsidized less, and vice-versa.

0

ksjayhawk74 11 months, 3 weeks ago

If your income status changes, you just have to contact your provider and they make the subsidy adjustment.

0

chootspa 11 months, 3 weeks ago

See - there's the answer. Thanks. It doesn't change for me, since I have employer-supplied insurance, but I know people who will be going through the exchanges.

0

UltimateGrownup 11 months, 3 weeks ago

This is disgusting. A full-time propagandist for socialized medicine in Lawrence? Since Lawrence is a small city, there must be a full army of propagandists nationwide. If this woman were a doctor or a nurse practitioner helping low-income individuals, I could see the logic. However, this is proof that the Obama Administration is consistently on task for their main priority, left-wing propaganda. Actual health care is the farthest thing from their minds.

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chootspa 11 months, 3 weeks ago

You know, I really wish we'd gone for the socialized medicine plan. Instead we had to go with the Romneycare plan that uses free market competition and an individual mandate to lower rates through the exchanges. Better than nothing I suppose, but it makes me scratch my head to see all the whining from the "Keep government out of healthcare, and hands off my Medicare" crowd.

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ksjayhawk74 11 months, 3 weeks ago

And by "propaganda", you mean accurate information that helps individuals find low cost health insurance that can not be denied to them and make sure they know if they qualify for subsidies that make the cost even lower.

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Joseph Propenski 11 months, 1 week ago

Good grief. There is nothing wrong with people being hired to give out information on Obamacare. It is the law after all, and it's the government's responsibility to make people available to answer questions. If you don't like Obamacare, or don't want to find out about it, don't call.

0

BitterClinger 11 months, 3 weeks ago

I sincerely hope Ms Wells is out of a job very soon because Obamacare has been defunded and repealed.

1

meggers 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Looks like you will be bitterly clinging to that hope for a very long time.

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Liberty275 11 months, 3 weeks ago

You should be nice and hope she finds a job navigating something else for people. Nobody needs to be without a job if they want one.

Also, have they already shut down the government? That would be like a vacation. Maybe we can make it a staycation.

1

avarom 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Individuals who do not have health insurance after the open enrollment period (Oct. 1 to March 1) will pay a penalty in 2014 of $95 per adult for the year or 1 percent of total income, whichever is greater. In 2015 it increases to $325 or 2 percent. In 2016 it goes up to $695 or 2.5 percent. For those who resist buying insurance, the fines will be indexed further.

Employers are only mandated to provide insurance for workers if they employ more than 50 full-time employees. For workplaces with fewer than 50 employees, providing insurance is optional. Full-time is defined as working more than 30 hours a week. Employers with more than 50 employees encounter the “pay or play” rule.

What is ‘pay or play?’

Employers opting not to provide any insurance for employees will pay a penalty of $2,000 for each uninsured employee (excluding the first 30). Employers who do provide insurance but who do not make it “affordable” or “minimum coverage” will pay a $3,000 penalty for each employee.

0

jafs 11 months, 3 weeks ago

So?

If people get larger subsidies than they're entitled to, they should pay them back, right?

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grammaddy 11 months, 3 weeks ago

There's always www.healthcare.gov for those with questions.With all of the people who have been hired at GDIT (formerly Vangent) and trained to the healthcare Marketplace, I wonder if the "navigators" are really necessary.Please be patient with these people. First day of a new program is always tough. .

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Liberty275 11 months, 3 weeks ago

We elected to take insurance through my wife's employer. No navigator was required.

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jafs 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Great - I'm glad you had that option.

The exchanges are designed for people who don't get insurance through their employers, so that they can have some decent health care - do you think that they shouldn't have that?

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Liberty275 11 months, 3 weeks ago

I don't think employers should be forced to offer any benefits.

1

jafs 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Right.

So, you just think people who work for employers that don't offer that shouldn't have access to decent health care?

Or should we do something as a society to help them get that, like the exchanges?

0

koman 11 months, 3 weeks ago

As a small business owner, I'm actually kind of excited that I may be able to afford to offer coverage to my employees because of the ACA. If a business has fewer than 50 employees there will be an exchange where they can set up coverage for their workers and will be eligible for a tax credit for up to half of the cost of the coverage. The combination of the market driving down costs and the tax credit may give a lot more people access to some form of coverage.

Now, all of you folks that simply think the ACA is "bad" but know nothing about the document, flame away!

2

Mike Ford 11 months, 3 weeks ago

no one is subsidising my insurance to those with snide comments. I've paid taxes as a working individual since 1986. the taxes i've paid in pay for my insurance. over the years my taxes have paid for unnecessary wars and no bid contracts for haliburton. I wish I could whine like others. I have a friend whose been a professional touring musician for almost two decades. she grew up here and has lived in Norway for almost two decades. They pay over 50% in taxes and get healthcare, paid collegiate education, maternity leave and a wonderful train system. They pay taxes as responsible adults and get services in return. I pay taxes and i'm finally getting services in return here. I'm tired of all of these people screaming about a nanny state when I willfully pay taxes to support a functioning society. Too many people live in a mythical world of rugged individualism when many people have contributed to their abiities to be rugged individuals. NBA Hall of Famer Bill Russell asked a skeptical taxpayer once" Did you go to public school?" taxes paid for that. He then asked, "Did you go to college and take out student loans?" taxes paid for that. No one can function without some help. I have family members with leukemia and organ transplant issues and the leukemia is financially killing one of my family members who works fulltime in spite of the side effects from their chemo. Affordable health insurance goes a long way to allowing people to not be financially clobbered by health costs. I guess there's a compassion shortage currently.

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