Tonawanda News

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October 23, 2013

Health care rollout gets state backing

Tonawanda News — As President Obama addressed concerns over the rollout of the Affordable Healthcare Act Monday, one Niagara County institute is launching efforts to enroll residents for coverage.  

Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center will operate 10 service sites in Niagara County throughout the month, including two in North Tonawanda, where representatives will answer questions and help residents enroll in health care coverage. 

The hospital was awarded a grant through the New York state Department of Health that officials say will assist individuals and businesses shop for health care coverage and compare prices among providers. 

Representatives, who are called assistor/navigators and are certified in the enrollment process, will be on hand several days a week to assist those interested in learning about health insurance options, according to Sheila K. Kee, vice president and chief operating officer at Niagara Memorial. 

“Assistor/navigators will explain coverage options, provide coverage comparisons, help with plan selection and support consumers in filing online health insurance applications at disability accessible sites across Niagara County,” Kee said. “These free services will be available six days a week, including Saturdays and evenings, for the convenience of consumers.”

Representatives will be available from from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays, and 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Thursdays at the YWCA of the Tonawandas, 49 Tremont St.; and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays at Dale Association Counseling, 89 River Road, through the end of the month. 

Qualified Health Plans can be purchased now and will be effective Jan. 1. For information, visit nystateofhealth.ny.gov, call 278-4264 or emailnavigator@nfmmc.org.

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