The Herald Bulletin

December 1, 2013

Navigators can help on health law

DENNIS LANANE
The Herald Bulletin

---- — We had another good turnout at our last Triad meeting for the presentation and answering questions about the new Affordable Care Act.

Our presenters did a great job of presenting information on a very complicated health care system.

One presenter was Georgiana Reynal, System Director of Public Policy and Government Relations for St. Vincent’s Health, who started out with a PowerPoint presentation. Before Georgiana worked for St. Vincent’s Health, she was an aide to former Sen. Richard Lugar on health issues for 15 years.

Also as presenters were Terri Rinker, the revenue cycle director for Community Hospital Anderson, and Mike Casuscelli, Director of Outreach and Enrollment from the Madison County Community Health Center. During the presentation, all three answered questions and gave explanations of the different sections of the Affordable Care Act.

The information was well received and greatly appreciated by those in attendance. Triad puts on these meetings as a public service. Our goal is to get important information out to the public about health care and crime prevention. It is too bad that we do not have better resources to get this information out to more people in the community.

Thousands of people in Madison County could have benefited from the information that was presented at our Triad meetings.

Free Affordable Care Act Navigator services are provided in Madison County by St. Vincent Anderson Regional Hospital, Community Hospital Anderson and the Madison County Community Health Center as well as other resources. The United Way of Madison County and Open Door Health Services-Family Planning Site have also contacted Triad and told us they do not charge fees either.

Navigators are allowed to charge a fee for their services but these agencies do not. This is an important service if you or any of your loved ones are having a hard time understanding the Affordable Care Act.

Also in attendance to help us was John Williams from Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) of Indiana. John also helped provide some good information about the Affordable Care Act and helped explain a Medicare problem that some of you may encounter.

John warned that if you are on Medicare and go to a hospital, and even stay all night, you had better ask whether the hospital considers your status as “inpatient” or “outpatient” because it may make a big difference on how much Medicare will pay on your bills. It could affect not only how much you pay for X-rays, drugs and lab tests in the hospital but it could also affect whether Medicare will cover your care if you get sent to a skilled nursing care facility. If you are in the hospital for more than a few hours, always ask your doctor or the hospital staff if you’re “impatient” or “outpatient.”

Triad will hold its Christmas Party meeting on Dec. 19 at 10:30 a.m. at the Anderson Mounds Mall next to the theaters. This will be a pitch-in and we will have door prizes and give out the annual Scott Mellinger Award to a Triad volunteer.

Dennis Lanane is chairman of Madison County Triad. His column appears the first Sunday of each month. He can be reached at qparadigm1@gmail.com.