Health insurance can be tricky to navigate, what with the difficulty many experience enrolling in care, and North Carolina’s decision not to expand Medicaid in 2014. And that’s why the Southeast Area Health Education Center, or SEAHEC, and the New Hanover County Health Department are holding free information sessions on the Affordable Care Act—also known as “Obamacare.” WHQR’s Katie O’Reilly reports that until the March 31 deadline to enroll passes, these educators will be hosting these sessions around the region.
During one recent session, healthcare professionals guided about thirty locals through the ins and outs of the law's stipulations, how to use the online Marketplace, various types of insurance coverage and subsidy eligibility. Navigators--or people who’ve had 30 hours of training on the Affordable Care Act--were also on hand to help individuals select a healthcare plan. SEAHEC president Dr. Joseph Pino says this law offers a crucial opportunity to help thousands in the region who don’t have ready access to health care.
"Having practiced medicine for quite a number of years, I’ve seen firsthand how people without insurance have trouble accessing routine health care. It’s painful to watch the outcomes of chronic diseases that could be treated at a much earlier time."
These sessions--which are being funded by the North Carolina Area Health Education Center--will soon hit Brunswick, Columbus, Duplin, Pender and Onslow counties.