The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Local Business

December 12, 2013

Officials field questions on health care

Austin, Lanane host meeting to help residents

ANDERSON — The questions varied but confusion about the Affordable Care Act still seemed to be rampant among the people who showed up at an information meeting Wednesday evening.

Some wanted to know if they could get new coverage from the marketplace, some wondered what would happen to those who don’t have coverage under the new system.

Kathleen Falk, Region 5 director of the U.S. Health and Human Services, came to Anderson to help answer those questions. She and Deborah Hester, the owner of Plus One Enterprises in Anderson and a certified marketplace navigator, fielded questions from a group of about 30 people at Anderson Public Library.

A lack of available information on the government’s new health insurance plan was the reason two local state lawmakers, Rep. Terri Austin and Sen. Tim Lanane, decided to set up the meeting.

“We felt like this was important because we’ve had so many constituents reach out to us and express that they want more information,” Austin said. “Many legislators are taking it upon themselves to organize town hall meetings.”

Falk, whose region covers six states, including Indiana, said there were just less than 1 million Hoosiers without health insurance. More than 140,000 of those reside in Madison County. These are the type of people the new care act is specifically targeting.

“It’s important that we get together at events like this,” Falk said.

Falk and Hester provided all of the answers they could with other local health care representatives also adding comments.

Marlene Carey, the regional marketing officer for St. Vincent’s Northeast region, said people need to be careful about what provider they sign up for on the marketplace.

Currently there are four health care providers available in Indiana through the marketplace. But Carey said only two of those, MDwise and Anthem, have health care providers in central Indiana close to Anderson.

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