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Affordable Care Act Info Session

WHAT: Forum: The Affordable Care Act: Getting Health Insurance for 2015

WHEN: Tuesday, October 28th, 7:00 - 9:00 pm

WHERE: State College Borough Council Chambers, 3rd Floor, 243 S. Allen Street, State College

PARKING: Parking garages on Beaver Avenue, Fraser Street and Pugh Street -- 50 cents an hour after 6 pm.  On-street parking and surface lots are enforced until 10 pm. The charge is $1 per hour.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Jon Eich, 814-876-2264, JonEich@aol.com


State College – The second open enrollment period for health insurance available through the Affordable Care Act Marketplace is right around the corner. Those who want insurance coverage starting January 1, 2015, will have only a month, beginning November 15th, to pick the plan that suits their needs and their budget from the ACA Marketplace. (The enrollment period will extend through February 15th for those whose insurance starts later.)


And for the first time in Pennsylvania, people who didn’t earn enough to purchase insurance through the ACA Marketplace but didn’t qualify for Medicaid, will be able to sign up for health insurance under HealthyPA’s Private Coverage Option.  The sign up period for HealthyPA begins December 1st


This forum is designed to begin to answer enrollment questions and provide information about where people can go to get help enrolling.  The panel includes:


·         Rozanne Turczyn, of the Centre County League of Women Voters, who will provide a background of the Affordable Care Act. 

·         Patrick Keenan, of the Pennsylvania Health Access Network, who will describe what the ACA offers individuals and families. 

·         Walt Whitmer, of Penn State Cooperative Extension, who will focus on what ACA offers small businesses and Extension’s ACA website. 

·         Susan Michalik, of MidPenn Legal Services, who will cover HealthyPA: Medicaid Expansion in Pennsylvania. 

·         Lynne Grimm, from Keystone Rural Health, who will talk about Enrollment Assistance from Keystone’s Mountaintop Medical Center.  

·         Cheryl White, of Centre Volunteers in Medicine, will explain how CVIM will continue to help people living in Centre County meet health care needs even if they remain uninsured after the ACA goes into effect. 

·         Following the presentations, questions will be taken from the audience.



The Affordable Care Act (also known as ACA, and commonly referred to as Obamacare) is the program that is designed to make sure everyone has access to quality, affordable health insurance.  The law was adopted four years ago and some provisions have already gone into effect, including:


·         Prohibiting insurance companies from using pre-existing conditions to deny coverage/charge higher rates.

·         Allowing young adults to stay on their parent’s health plan until they turn 26.

·         Making it illegal for insurance companies to cancel coverage when a person gets sick.

·         Eliminating lifetime limits on insurance coverage.

·         Requiring insurance companies to give customers a rebate if the company spends less than 80-85% of premiums on providing health care.


The types of benefits that must be included in each plan has been defined through the ACA.  This package is called the Essential Health Benefits.  The premium charged for insurance varies depending such factors as: the number of people being covered; their age(s); the copays and out-of-pocket costs chosen by the person/family; and whether the covered individual is a smoker.  Many people qualify for tax credits to help pay the cost of obtaining insurance.