Second public information meeting held for ACA
By ALLAN TINKER
McClusky’s Northland Community Health Center’s Affordable Care Act Marketplace presentation was held at McClusky City Hall on Monday, Oct. 21. It was the second of the public information meetings held for the implementation of the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010. (The ACA has been delayed and the enrollment deadline extended six weeks due to malfunction of the web access system that would have simplified the enrollment process if it had worked according to projections).
In place, and working well in dispensing information, was one of Certified Outreach/Enrollment Coordinators Sadie Wardner. Wardner stated her job was to "dispense accurate information" on the new program and help dispel rumors and misinformation that has been issued through the media and political arena.
Wardner again provided the basics of the program through slide and verbal presentations as well as a question and answer session at the conclusion of the programs.
The program, similar in some respects to how other programs have been started with a learning curve for consumers to become familiar with the benefits and also changes needed in the new system. The program itself does not offer any particular insurance and the insurance choices are private insurance providers with three meeting the standards for the program in North Dakota: Blue Cross/Blue Shield of ND, Sanford Health Insurance, and Medica.
The program was put into place to protect consumers when they are patients, to provide health care coverage to low and middle class families that don’t currently have insurance because they can’t afford it, and to promote good health and help small clinics and hospitals stay afloat.
The essential health benefits of the program are ambulatory patient services, emergency ser-vices, hospitalizations, maternity and newborn care, mental health and substance abuse services, prescription drugs, rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices, laboratory services, preventative and wellness services and pediatric services.