Town Hall Forum to Offer Answers About Obamacare

A group of experts will help to untangle the complicated subject of online health insurance marketplaces just as the marketplaces begin taking registrations, which occurs on Oct. 1.

By Richard Cook

Confused about the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—better known as Obamacare? Head down to the University of Pittsburgh on Oct. 2 to get some answers. That's where a group of experts will host a forum and Q-and-A session about "The Impact of the Affordable Health Care Act."

The event is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 2, from 9 a.m. to noon in Ballroom B of Pitt's University Club, located at 123 University Pl. in North Oakland.

The free, informational forum is sponsored by the Allegheny County Department of Human Services' Allegheny Link to Aging and Disability Resources, the University of Pittsburgh Schools of Social Work and Law, and the Allegheny County APPRISE Program (the state health insurance assistance program).

A group of experts will help to untangle the complicated subject of online health insurance marketplaces just as the marketplaces begin taking registrations, which occurs on Oct. 1. Marketplaces—originally called Health Insurance Exchanges—will allow eligible uninsured individuals to select health insurance packages to meet the requirements of the Affordable Health Care Act.

"We are sponsoring the town hall forum because many people and employers have questions about the Affordable Care Act," said Joe Elliott, community programs manager at the Allegheny Link. "It's a complex piece of legislation, and the experts at the forum can answer many initial questions, including 'What do we do if our employer does not provide health insurance? Are we eligible for the Marketplace? Will there be subsidies to make health insurance more affordable?'"

John Lovelace, president of UPMC for You, a managed care organization that serves Medical Assistance and Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plan recipients in 40 counties in Pennsylvania, and Dr. Karen Hacker, director of the Allegheny County Health Department, are among the featured speakers. Other experts are expected from the Pennsylvania Health Access NetworkExcela and the Consumer Health Coalition.

The forum will also address some of the broader implications and impact of the Affordable Care Act on the American health care system, particularly the law's provisions concerning the Medicare and Medicaid systems. The first hour of the forum will be devoted to a panel discussion, with two hours allotted to taking questions from the audience.

Seating is limited. Those wishing to attend should RSVP by Sept. 30 via email to William McKendree at mckendreew@fswp.org or call 412-661-1438.
Anthony Brown September 23, 2013 at 03:11 PM
Last time i went to one of these information seminars none was given. PT library sponsored a forum that would help seniors, individuals, businesses's "navigate" obamacare. LWV was involved- so since they are a "non partisan" group- you knew right off the bat it would be extremely biased- even though it was billed as a facilitation forum 55% of the time was spent listening to Rep Matt Smith wail about Corbett not creating a PA plan and how his (Smiths') imaginary plan would be candy and fun. He was never put on track or cut off. On the flip side- if you had a real situation to discuss or answers needed- "no room at the inn" for you. Most seniors just shook their heads and walked out


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