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Outreach Efforts Amped Up Ahead of Health Exchange Enrollment

SPRINGFIELD -- One week from today the Cover Missouri Health Insurance Marketplace will go live. But for many, navigating the Affordable Care Act has been confusing.
SPRINGFIELD -- One week from today the Cover Missouri Health Insurance Marketplace will go live. But for many, navigating the Affordable Care Act has been confusing.

Some people in the community are hoping to change that.

The University of Missouri Extension is reaching out to help educate members of the community so they can be confident navigating the healthcare marketplace.

Days away from the opening of the healthcare marketplace trainers from the University of Missouri Extension are preparing to meet with an area hospital.

"We're trying to look for partners right now so that we can really try to reach the most people possible." said Chrystal Irons of the University of Missouri Extension.

They are looking to forge partnerships for community outreach.

"In addition to educating individuals and families we are also going to be doing some business education," said Irons.

Irons says businesses have been particularly concerned about the change.

"So employers are really nervous about this act, what does it mean for them, what expenses are they going to incur and how are they going to help their employees because their employees are going to have to have health care. We are going to really make a strong effort to reach out to those businesses and educate them so they are less nervous about what the affordable care act is going to mean for their business and for their employees."

The Cover Missouri Health Insurance Marketplace covers a lot of ground, so these trainers say it's better to go in informed.

Nellie Lamers of the University of Missouri Extension says, "How can they get tax credits, how can they get subsidies to help with their premiums and their co-pays. Also, if they don't have insurance what are the penalties."

Whether you're uninsured or under insured, there are criteria for individuals and employees.

"If the employer's insurance doesn't meet the minimum, what they call the bronze plan then you will be eligible to go to the marketplace to purchase insurance," said Lamers.

Lamer says the income requirements also encompass a wide range.

"Basically, people that are between 100 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty level will be eligible for tax credits."

You can contact the University of Missouri Extension to become a partner or to find out when and where you can attend a training session 417-881-8909.
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