Forum will offer help with health reform

Islanders with questions about health care reform are invited to attend an informational community forum featuring an outreach specialist from Public Health - Seattle & King County next week.

Callista Kennedy and other public health staff will be on Vashon on Tuesday, providing a chance for islanders to sign up for health insurance through Washington state’s new health insurance exchange in the afternoon and providing information and answering questions in the evening.

Kennedy will address how people can seek help in applying for insurance, the expansion of the Medicaid program and how some people will be able to obtain financial help with their insurance premiums and certain health care expenses, such as co-pays and deductibles. This assistance is an element of health care reform that is rarely explained and that few people know about, Kennedy said, and many people will be able to benefit from it.

Hilary Emmer, the organizer of the event, said she hopes islanders will take advantage of this opportunity.

“I think there is so much confusion around the Affordable Care Act, and we all need to know how it will affect us an individuals,” she said.

There will also be plenty of time for people to ask questions, Emmer added.

Next week’s health insurance enrollment session will be from 4 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 8, at the Vashon Library. The forum will be from 6 to 8 p.m. later that day at McMurray Middle School.

Future enrollment opportunities will include a session from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, at the Station 55; from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16, at the Vashon Library and 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. also on Oct. 16 at the Vashon Maury Community Food Bank.



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