Concerned citizens attend healthcare town hall meeting

Published: Oct. 22, 2013 at 11:58 PM CDT|Updated: Nov. 20, 2013 at 12:58 AM CST
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Rep. Hall and healthcare leaders answered citizens' questions Tuesday.
Rep. Hall and healthcare leaders answered citizens' questions Tuesday.

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Dozens of Huntsville area residents turned out Tuesday night to seek answers to their questions about getting health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

State Representative Laura Hall invited a panel of community groups and care providers to explain the ins and outs of the ACA and the mechanics of applying for health insurance through health care exchanges and the federal government's insurance website.

Some members of the public came because they had no health insurance now. Others are looking to get a better deal than the insurance they currently have. Some have tried to apply for coverage online and run into the technical problems plaguing the federal website.

Representatives of the AIDS Action Coalition and Central North Alabama Healthcare explained that they are authorized to serve as application counselors or "navigators" to assist applicants.

"Some people are getting sticker shock. We are seeing those kinds of phone calls. We also have calls about people whom, their health insurance is changing in their workplace and they want to see if they're eligible for any kind of assistance," said Mary Elizabeth Marr, CEO of AIDS Action Coalition.

The answer? "If you get insurance through work, are you eligible? No, you're not," Marr said.

Hall said many questions about the Affordable Care Act will not be answered right away and she plans to have more individual meetings with panel members and individuals in need of help in coming weeks.

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