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Families now able to sign up for affordable health insurance in the Teen Health Center

Kellen Reeder, Staff Reporter
Originally published November 12, 2013

With the recent passing of the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, students and families can now sign up for affordable health care insurance through the Teen Health Center (THC). A meeting will be held on Nov. 3 in the THC from noon to 3 p.m. and as an introduction to students the THC visited students in English Language Arts classes and explained the ACA to students.

On Jan. 1 2014 the ACA will require that U.S. citizens have health insurance and that now you can buy affordable health insurance on a competitive-based market. Also, an important feature of the new act is your insurance rates can’t drop you if you have a pre-existing medical condition.

“It is a time where families can learn of the options, answer their questions and enroll them if they are eligible,” Tom Gibbon said. Gibbon works at Swedish Medical center and will be running the meeting along with Penny Lara who works for Seattle Public Health and has been working there for 19 years.

“We hope that a lot of families will show up to the meeting on the 13th. Families will be able to talk to an enrollment specialist,” Lara said.

Insurance on healthcare.gov ranges depending on your income level and, according to Gibbon, there are great benefits to the program. “Families without insurance may now have coverage, will start seeing a primary care physician, get involved in wellness programs and see their health improve,” Gibbon said.

Along with the meeting, the THC also encourages families to view an online marketplace called Healthplanfinder (wahealthplanfinder.org) that will also be discussed at the meeting. The marketplace, along with searching for the health plan that benefits families, will allow families to compare plans side by side, find out if they’re eligible for tax credits and ask questions that a buyer might have.

“All of our lives will ultimately be better by the ACA in time,” Gibbon said.

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Families now able to sign up for affordable health insurance in the Teen Health Center