Shawnee County Health Agency Clearing Up ACA Confusion


TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- With all the computer glitches getting Affordable Care Act enrollment off to a shaky start, it can be confusing to know what to do. The Shawnee County Health Agency is aiming to make it easier. They held a session Tuesday night to help people sign up.

Topekans were able to get answers Tuesday on signing up and finding out if they qualify for Affordable Care Act coverage.

Many who attended found getting signed up turned out to be quite smooth, but it was purchasing policies that presented the road block..

From premiums to deductibles and co-pays, the Shawnee County Health Agency provided trained staff members to guide people through the insurance language jungle.

Outreach and Enrollment Coordinator Paige Ashley said, "It's to learn more about what is the Affordable Care Act and how it is going to affect them and to understand it. So when they do get into the marketplace they can know what they are looking at."

Janelle DiGennaro used to be on KanCare, but her current income recently disqualified her from coverage, so Tuesday's signup session allowed her to get answers.

She said, "I got to see our plans and what we possibly could get. Just trying to see if I should get my husband and me or my husband, me and my son."

After sitting through the informational movie and being helped step by step through the federal exchange website, Janelle found out the Affordable Care Act lived up to its name.

She said, "It was nice to see that the plans are actually affordable for myself and the people I know, and hopefully people can get signed up and get what they need."

While signing up seemed simple for attendees like Janelle, actually enrolling is something Kansans just cannot do.

Paige said, "I've been able to take people from beginning to end. Once they are there, and looking at their plans and how much it will cost them, unfortunately, they cannot enroll in a plan yet because that part of the system is not connected to the marketplace yet."

Paige says the ability to enroll into the marketplace should be in place by December 1st.

The health agency plans informational sessions before and after that date, including Monday November 25th at the Topeka and Shawnee County Library from 7 until 8:30 p.m.


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