From staff reports
NEOSHO, Mo. —
Access Family Care has received a federal grant for $140,059 to help educate the community about the new federal health care program and to enroll patients via the Health Insurance Marketplaces. The money will be used to hire, train and certify outreach and enrollment specialists as part of the Affordable Care Act.
Health Insurance Marketplaces, also referred to as health insurance exchanges, are government-regulated and subsidized health care plans that will be available to the public and offer the same core set of benefits, called essential health benefits. Enrollment is scheduled to begin this fall with the plans to take effect in January 2014.
Debra Davidson, chief operations officer for Access, said Friday that the Affordable Care Act is something of a moving target still.
“We are all learning this together,” she said. “Nothing is set in stone at this time.”
She also added that nobody knows what the different plans are going to look like or how many choices there are going to be.
“We are just ramping up, getting prepared,” she added.
Davidson also said that people do not have to be patients of Access to come in and talk to experts about enrolling in the program.
“Any community member can come into our clinic to ask for information,” she said.
In all, 22 Missouri community health centers received awards from the federal Health Resources and Services Administration totaling more than $2.9 million. Those health centers served 438,406 patients last year, and nearly 35 percent of them were uninsured. That number is higher in Southwest Missouri.
Davidson said that 45 percent of patients at their four area clinics are on Medicaid and another 40 percent had no insurance at all.
Access offers both medical and dental services clinics at:
• 927 N. Business 71, Anderson.
• 4016 North Main St., Cassville.
• 530 S. Maiden Lane, Joplin.
It also offers medical services only at 412 East McKinney Ave., Neosho.
Access administrative offices are located at 4301 Doniphan Drive in Neosho.