Seminar to detail new health care options

Event Saturday at Peterborough library to answer questions surrounding New Hampshire marketplace

PETERBOROUGH — As enrollment gets under way for people looking for health coverage under the new Affordable Care Act, many people have questions about how or whether the act will affect them.

On Saturday, the Peterborough Town Library will present a free one-hour seminar on the ACA and the health insurance marketplace being established under the law. The session will be led by attorney Honey Hastings of Temple, who has been trained as a presenter by the AARP, which is sponsoring talks around the state.

“I got interested in this because [the Affordable Care Act] could provide better coverage for many people,” Hastings said on Thursday. “I believe most people who haven’t had health insurance will be in the income levels to qualify for a tax subsidy. Those can amount to about $5,000 a person. The focus has been on the premium rates, but what’s important is what the individual will really have to pay.”

Hastings said the AARP has been training volunteers to talk about the health care exchanges as part of a nationwide outreach to people of all ages, not just the elderly.

“For the program to work, it needs to get everyone involved,” she said.

Hastings will be talking about the different deadlines involved with the program, the various plans being offered in New Hampshire by Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, which is the only company participating in the Health Exchange Marketplace this year, and the penalties that may apply in 2014 if people don’t have some type of health coverage.

She plans to discuss how tax credits will work and describe online tools that can illustrate the true cost of insurance through the exchange for people of various age and income. She also will explain the open enrollment process, which this year will run from Oct. 1 to March 31, 2014, and how to enroll online.

And she plans to spend time answering questions.

The free AARP-led program will also be offered at the Chamberlin Library in Greenville on Oct. 16 from 7 to 8 p.m. And at the Mansfield Library in Temple on Oct. 24 from 7 to 8 p.m.

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