Tulsans Look For Answers At Affordable Care Act Forum

Thursday, December 12th 2013, 11:14 pm
By: News On 6

Nearly 15,000 Oklahomans have completed the Affordable Care Act application, but only a tiny fraction have actually selected a health care plan.

Folks at Morton Comprehensive Health Center held a forum Thursday night. A lot of people are still wondering how they can sign up and how much it will cost them.

The Affordable Care Act has gotten a lot of criticism since the exchange website first rolled out in October. That's why single mother Sydney Courtney came to this public forum.

"Since I've been out of school, I haven't had any health insurance and I'm curious how to get it," Courtney said.

With a panel of experts and informational pamphlets, Morton Comprehensive Health Center and a number of community partners hope to educate people on how they can sign up for health insurance.

"They answered some. I get a lot of information from the table. That's what I'm looking forward to, getting over there," Courtney said.

12/11/2013 Related Story: More Oklahomans Sign Up For Health Care Coverage On Government website

Courtney said she hasn't tried to get on the healthcare.gov website yet, but she plans to now that she understands how to navigate through it.

Panelist Patricia Christensen explained there were a lot of road blocks on the website when it first launched, but now things have changed. She said a lot of people wanted to see the plans available before they started the application process.

"You can also go through sort of a calculator to let you know whether or not you might qualify for premium tax credits or other cost share reductions that can help you pay for monthly premiums," Christensen said.

Whitney Jones works for the YWCA and came to learn more about the exchange so she can help her clients.

"My clients are new to this country, a lot of them, so they're still trying to figure out the healthcare system and trying to get on their feet and get self sufficient," Jones said.

Jones said a lot of the people she works with are worried about the affordability of health care.

"I'm really concerned about those that fall in that gap. They would have been eligible for the Medicaid expansion, but since we don't have it, they're not really eligible for anything," Jones said.

If you were not able to come to the forum Thursday night and you have questions, you can call 211 to be connected with a certified specialist.