As Open-Enrollment Period Nears, Forum Educates Chicagoans on ObamaCare

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - HealthWith little more than a month to go before President Obama’s health care reforms move to the next stage, more than 1,000 people turned out for a forum last week to give it an enthusiastic kick off. The teach-in, hosted by Dr. Leon Finney Jr. at the Metropolitan Apostolic Community Church (MACC) just blocks from Obama’s Chicago home, was locally organized by Protect Your Care/Americans United for Change.

Although some parts of the law have already helped Americans gain access to affordable care, the remaining provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) go into effect at different times. On October 1 of this year, those who need health care can start shopping for and comparing insurance plans on the government-run online Health Insurance Marketplace to find the plan that works best for their family. All Americans must have coverage by Jan. 1, 2014, but many families and individuals will qualify for tax credits or subsidies to help cover the cost of insurance.

Among the key points made by forum presenters were:

  • Individuals and families in Cook County will be able to choose among five carriers and dozens of plans.
  • Those already enrolled in Medicaid will not have to reenroll.
  • More than 90,000 applications for ObamaCare have already been filed in Cook County.
  • Young people can stay on their parent’s plans until they are 26 years old. In Illinois, veterans can stay on parental plans until age 30.
  • Dental and vision plans are essential in plans that cover youth and optional in plans for older Americans.

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