Learning to navigate health care under ACAA northwest Wisconsin agency plans to hold presentations in at least Superior, Ashland and Spooner next month to help people navigate health insurance options available under the Affordable Care Act.
By: Kevin Murphy, For the Telegram, Superior Telegram
MADISON — A northwest Wisconsin agency plans to hold presentations in at least Superior, Ashland and Spooner next month to help people navigate health insurance options available under the Affordable Care Act.
The Northwest Wisconsin Concentration Employment Program Inc. plans to reach out to individuals and employers at its offices, public libraries and business locations, said Brad Gingras, CEP director.
While CEP has offices at 1805 N. 14th St., Superior, and Ashland, Spooner, Hayward, Ladysmith, Park Falls, and Medford, Gingras doubted it could hold presentations in each of them.
“We’re looking for the most cost effective ways to get information out to as many people as possible with our limited resources,” Gingras said Friday.
CEP will have five staff members complete a 20-hour federal training program and 10-hour state training module to prepare them to provide “any and all information,” about the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as, “Obamacare.”
Gingras was short on answers as he was beginning the training Friday and none of the staff had completed the training this week.
“We have no schedule yet (for presentations) but we’ll be letting local newspapers know; we’ll be networking with the libraries and partnering with other agencies in an effort not to exclude anyone who wants information,” he said.
A provision of the ACA requires individuals to enroll in a qualified plan or pay a penalty in the coming years.
Training on Wisconsin-sponsored health care plans includes Badgercare Plus, Gingras said.
“This is a very big program, it’s nationwide, and there’s a lot of work to be done so we need to make sure we’re prepared by Oct. 1 to help fully educate people about the Act, he said.
Gingras had no cost information available Friday and said CEP’s presentations will outline insurance plans and their costs but won’t make recommendations.
CEP received a $285,000 grant last month to supply trained “navigators” to provide information about the most comprehensive change to the nation’s health care delivery system since Medicare. While CEP works in 10 northwest Wisconsin counties, it will subcontract with Workforce Resources of Menomonie and Workforce Connections of La Crosse to provide four more trained navigators to work in 17 western Wisconsin counties.
Gingras said the healthcare.gov website is the official online source for information about the ACA.