Residents can get help as key parts of Obamacare take effect - Montgomery Alabama news.

Residents can get help as key parts of Obamacare take effect


With enrollment just weeks away, there are several organizations in the area that will be providing services around the Affordable Care Act, which is also known as Obamacare.

"There are a lot of pieces to this puzzle, and we're just beginning to work through them," Shepherd Center Executive Director Pamela Seymour said. 

Shepherd Center is an organization that helps seniors in the area, and that helpful hand is about to be extended once again.

"We have partnered up with Primarus. We're one of several organizations in the area that'll be providing services around the Affordable Care Act," Seymour said.

Just more than a dozen people at the Shepherd Center are hoping to serve some 4,000 seniors in the metro once enrollment gets underway on Oct. 1.

Those people, called "navigators," will go through 20 hours of online training and testing just to assist seniors in their healthcare selection.

"We cannot recommend a healthcare policy, but we can give you the options and help you think about things that are important to you as an individual or as a family in order to choose which is best for your needs," Seymour said.

The Shepherd Center is just one of many organizations in both Kansas and Missouri that are gearing up to offer help where there may be confusion.

Kansas and Missouri were two of 33 states that opted out of government funding to set up exchanges.

The Kansas Insurance Commissioner's office said things might be different if the state had some of that funding.

"We might have been starting a little sooner than we are now in terms of our outreach and education. We would've had more funding available to us if we'd been doing our own state-based exchange. We thought the department might still have an opportunity to even be a partnership state with Health and Human Services," said Linda Sheppard with the Kansas Insurance Commissioner's office.

Sheppard said public meetings will be held, there will be a media blitz, information will be available on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook and there is a new website for people in the state of Kansas that just launched this week called

Sheppard said while they have taken their fair share of calls from people wanting information, it is groups of people that are really taking notice.

"The one place where we have seen the need ... the requests for speakers to go out and talk to groups really blew up exponentially right after the election. So I think when people started to feel like this really was, when President Obama was elected, that this was something that was going to start to happen - I think people started thinking about it," Sheppard said.

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