Health Insurance Marketplace Sessions Begin Oct. 3

The Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library will host seven sessions helping consumers navigate the Health Insurance Marketplace in October and November. The first in the series begins Thursday, Oct. 3 at 3 pm in the library’s Computer Training Center.

Mayor Larry Wolgast will meet with Navigator Paige Ashley, Shawnee County Health Agency, earlier in the day at 12:30 pm to walk through the same process consumers will go through.

“This is an exciting time: citizens without health insurance will be eligible for coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace,” Wolgast said. “No one can turn you away or charge you more because you have an illness or medical condition. I urge all Topekans without health insurance to use this service at the library and learn about the options available for you. I am especially appreciative that the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library will be hosting these sessions to help consumers navigate the Health Insurance Marketplace. It makes the process simple and easy.”

Open enrollment for the Marketplace begins today, October 1, and libraries nationwide are serving as access points for consumers to sign up. Lissa Staley, Health Information Librarian, has been working closely with local health agency officials and the Kansas Insurance Department preparing for the needs of the public.

“Almost 400 people attended the Kansas Insurance Department’s public meetings at the library yesterday,” Staley said. “If you missed it, visit http://www.insureks.org/ to see a helpful video and the PowerPoint presentation that reviews the Affordable Care Act benefits and the Health Insurance Marketplace.”

Staley is also posting the latest local information at tscpl.org/health. While library staff cannot assist customers in completing the application or enrollment process, they will provide technology assistance. Librarians will also make referrals to local agencies.

Staley says localhelp.healthcare.gov is the best source for finding a trained Marketplace expert in your area.

The Navigating the Marketplace sessions are with Certified Application Counselors or “Navigators” who will be available to help complete the online application for the Health Insurance Marketplace and compare insurance options. The library’s sessions will be held in the Computer Training Center:

Thu           Oct 3               3-6 pm
Sat             Oct 5               1-4 pm
Wed           Oct 16             12-3 pm
Fri             Oct 18             3-6 pm
Sat             Oct 19             9 am-12 pm
Thu           Nov 7              9 am-12 pm
Fri             Nov 8              3-6 pm

If you are a consumer, you should bring employer and income information such as a W-2 or paystub. If you have specific questions about the Affordable Care Act, please visit www.healthcare.gov, the official Affordable Care Act website, for more information.

Library hours are Monday-Friday 9am to 9pm, Saturday 9am to 6pm and Sunday noon to 9pm.

A public relations professional, editor and writer, Lisa shares the library story in her blog posts, in the bimonthly Library News, and media interviews. A self-described social media and news nut, Lisa harnesses that passion to raise awareness and understanding of the library's vital role in this community.