From the Harford County Health Department:
On Saturday, November 2nd, the Harford County Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) will host a county-wide Affordable Care Act Health Forum from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM at Union United Methodist Church, 700 N. Post Road in Aberdeen. The event is part of a larger, comprehensive outreach initiative targeting the approximately 20,000 uninsured Harford County residents under the age of 65.
Marilyn Johnson of the Harford Community Action Agency, Harford County’s lead Navigator funded by Seedco, will be a featured presenter at the Forum. The Maryland Health Benefit Exchange (MHBE) named Seedco last spring to serve as one of six connector organizations statewide that was contracted to provide consumer assistance and health insurance enrollment resources to individuals and small employers in Harford, Cecil, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Talbot, Caroline and Dorchester counties. Navigator and Assister representatives from the Harford Community Action Agency, Inc. and the Harford County Health Department, and Cheri Wilson, MA, MHS, CPHQ from the Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, also will speak at the Forum.
“Single individuals already insured through Medicaid or who currently are uninsured, heads of households with families, small business owners, or others interested in obtaining information on behalf of others will find it worthwhile to attend,” states Harford County Health Officer, Susan Kelly. Those attending will learn about the key provisions of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), coverage eligibility guidelines and a schedule of county-wide enrollment opportunities, and other informative details to help consumers decide what options best suit their needs and incomes to obtain access to affordable health care coverage.
The Forum also promises to provide information on a wide variety of topics and terms related to the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid program expansion and eligibility, the Maryland Children’s Health Program, the Small Business Options Program, heath care tax credits for business owners, information about health disparities, and more. Materials will be available in English and Spanish and transportation is available. Seating is limited to 300 persons.
The Harford County Health Department reminds the public that Maryland Health Connection open enrollment continues through March 31st, but consumers have only until December 15th to complete the process in time to have qualified health plan coverage in place by the New Year. Medical Assistance enrollment for those who qualify will continue to be available at any time.
Founded in 1909, the NAACP (www.naacp.org ) is the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization, whose Mission is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination. Included among their advocacy issues is to bring our national voice to assist in the eradication of racial and ethnic disparities in health, with a focus not only on disease prevention, but on the social and environmental factors that affect health and wellness.
The Kaiser Family Foundation offers a very understandable animated overview of the Affordable Care Act both in English and in Spanish on its website. The English version can be found at: http://kff.org/health-reform/video/youtoons-obamacare-video/ while the Spanish version at: http://kff.org/health-reform/video/los-youtoons-se-preparan-para-obamacare/.
More information about Maryland Health Connection and health insurance options is available by visiting www.harfordcountyhealth.com, or www.marylandhealthconnection.gov where consumers also can enroll for coverage. Members of the public may also call representatives called “Assisters”, available at all Health Department locations, at: 1321 Woodbridge Station Way in Edgewood MD (at 443-752-4105), 120 S. Hays Street, in Bel Air (at 443-752-4213) or 34 N. Philadelphia Blvd. in Aberdeen (at 443-752-5409). Additional valuable information is available on-line at: www.marylandhealthconnection.gov.