Health Care Workers Prepare For Exchanges

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SCRANTON -- Though a government shutdown is looming, a major provision of the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare  is set to kick off Tuesday.

A group of health care workers met Monday in Scranton to prepare for the beginning of what are called "health care exchanges."

The health care exchange refers to the open marketplace of health insurance plans that eventually, most uninsured Americans will be required to buy into or face a fine.

People can start buying plans on October 1 and there will be health care workers throughout our area available to answer your questions.

For many Americans, October 1 will be just another day but, health care workers rallied in Scranton for those who will be affected by the latest provision of the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare.

It's called the health care exchange and it affects the uninsured like Rose Yanko from Wilkes-Barre. A preexisting condition made her health insurance costs skyrocket. Then she lost her job. On Tuesday, she will be able to purchase insurance she says fits much better into her budget.

"This will change that. When I go back to work now I will get affordable health care and I will get the biopsies i Need which I have skipped for the past four years because of this," Yanko said.

Health care workers decided to meet at the Scranton Primary Health Care Center on Wyoming Avenue because this will be the first place in Lackawanna County where you can come and get answers about the health care exchange.

"You have to set out how much do you want to pay, what are you looking for in insurance, what kind of deductible do you want and these navigators can help walk you through that process of seeing what plan is the best on for you," said Deb Bonn, Nurses Alliance of Pennsylvania

Obamacare experts, called "navigators" will be placed at health care facilities all over our area to help people pick their exchange insurance plan.  Nurses at the rally think those navigators will be busy as early as October 1.

"I think we're going to be seeing a lot of people here tomorrow at least to get some information to find out where to start," Bonn said.

Once the exchange opens, people without health insurance have six months to buy into the exchange or they could face fines.

You can find more information about the health care exchange or where you can find a navigator by clicking here.


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