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Help Understanding the Affordable Care Act

PHOTO:  With implementation of the Affordable Care Act drawing near in Kentucky, a series of educational forums are under way in Louisville to help consumers learn more.
PHOTO: With implementation of the Affordable Care Act drawing near in Kentucky, a series of educational forums are under way in Louisville to help consumers learn more.
August 6, 2013

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Enrollment for health-care coverage through the Affordable Care Act begins October 1 in Kentucky with coverage available in January. In the Commonwealth it's being called the Kentucky Healthcare Exchange. To help both citizens and social-service providers with some of the basic "who, what, when, where and how" questions, the Legal Aid Society is conducting a series of educational forums in the Louisville area.

According to AmeriCorps Vista volunteer Kyle Watson, who is coordinating the presentations, the goal is to create a bridge between consumers and policy.

That is "so they know what exactly the Affordable Care Act does, what rights they'll have under the new law, where they can access these plans that are being put forward by different health-care providers in the state."

Watson acknowledged that this is "uncharted territory" and the details of individual coverage plans are "still in flux."

Legal Aid Society attorney Jeff Staton, who is leading the educational forums, said people are curious to find out what essential benefits will be offered in the insurance plans.

"You know, for instance, do they cover mental health? Do they cover dental? Those kind of questions are really important to people as to exactly what the coverage is going to be."

Staton said the "when" question is an easy answer. The "what" question, not so much, beyond what the law requires, which is insuring certain essential benefits and covering pre-existing conditions.

"Until the insurance companies submit their proposals for insurance to be, and they're approved to be, on the exchange, we really don't know what the product is going to look like," he admitted.

More information on the Affordable Care Act forums is at healthy-ky.org.

Link to Kentucky Healthcare Exchange at kynect.ky.gov.

Greg Stotelmyer , Public News Service - KY