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Experts Clear Up Misconceptions of Healthcare Reform Law

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Local employers learn the latest information about the 3-year-old healthcare reform law.

SPRINGFIELDMo. -- Local employers learn the latest information about the 3-year-old healthcare reform law.

The Springfield-Greene County Health Department hosted a town hall style presentation Tuesday for both businesses and individuals.

Policy experts from the Missouri Foundation for Health, which is a private, nonprofit organization, gave the free presentation on employer responsibilities, costs, and highlights what an individual needs to know to navigate the evolving health care system.

According to the Missouri Foundation For Health, one of the biggest misconceptions is every employer has to offer insurance when in fact, businesses with fewer than 50 employees are not affected by the healthcare law.

"We provide insurance for our staff, so we're concerned about that end of things, so we really just need more information," says Lynne Meyerkord with AIDS Project of the Ozarks.

"Small businesses have a hard time both offering good wages and insurance," says Thomas McAuliffe with the Missouri Foundation for Health. "This law is aimed at low income workers and the businesses they work at."

The Missouri Foundation for Health estimates there are nearly 800,000 who uninsured in Missouri. As of 2014, those Missourians will be covered, but the Foundation worries if there will there be enough doctors to see them.

The health department says a recent poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that two-thirds of the uninsured and a majority of Americans overall say they have too little information to know how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will affect them, and that awareness of key elements of the law has declined somewhat since passage when media attention was at its height.

The hour-long session was a part of the Cover Missouri initiative to incorporate community input, Foundation research, and economic analysis by state and national experts. The event is free to attend, with no RSVP necessary.

For more state-specific information on health care or to learn more about Missouri Foundation for Health and Cover Missouri, visit www.mffh.org and www.covermissouri.org.

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