Free health insurance enroll-a-thons in Alexander, Caldwell, Catawba and McDowell counties

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Expert navigators available to help consumers enroll in ACA health insurance plans before open enrollment ends Jan. 31

MORGANTON, January 12, 2016 – Legal Aid of North Carolina’s Morganton office is holding a series of free enroll-a-thons (see below) in Alexander, Caldwell, Catawba and McDowell counties to help consumers enroll in affordable health insurance through the Affordable Care Act before the 2015-2016 open-enrollment period ends Jan. 31.

At the events, consumers can meet with certified health care navigators who are trained to help consumers understand the details of the plans available on the Health Insurance Marketplace, determine eligibility for financial assistance, complete the enrollment process and more.

The events are free and open to the public. Walk-ins are welcome, but consumers can schedule appointments by calling North Carolina’s toll-free navigator hotline at 1-855-733-3711 or visiting the Get Covered Connector.

To enroll in a health insurance plan, consumers will need to provide certain information for everyone who will be covered by the plan. This information includes social security numbers and dates of birth; names, addresses and contact information of employers; policy numbers for current health insurance plans (if any) and proof of household income.

Consumers without health insurance at the end of the open-enrollment period may be subject to a fine on their 2016 tax return. This year, the fine is increasing from $325 per person to $695 per person, or 2.5 percent of the consumer’s income, whichever is greater. Some consumers may be eligible to have the fine waived. Navigators can help consumers apply for waivers.

The enroll-a-thons in Newton and Hickory will be held in partnership with Catawba Family Care. The Marion enroll-a-thon will be held in partnership with the McDowell Health Coalition and the Council on Aging of Buncombe County.

Here is the list of upcoming enroll-a-thons:

  • JAN 13: Eastern Catawba Cooperative, Christian Ministry, 245 E. N St., Newton, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • JAN 16: Patrick Beaver Memorial Library, 375 3rd St. NE, Hickory, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • JAN 19: Addie’s Chapel United Methodist Church, 201 Ridley St., Marion, ​2-6 p.m.
  • ​JAN 21: CVCC Alexander Campus, 345 Industrial Blvd., Taylorsville, 1-9 p.m.
  • JAN 23: Caldwell County Library, 120 Hospital Ave. NW, Lenoir, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • JAN 30: Frye Care, 1781 Tate Blvd., SE #101, Hickory, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

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The NC Navigator Consortium is a group of 14 health care, social service, and legal aid organizations that helps North Carolina consumers enroll in affordable health insurance plans through the Affordable Care Act. The consortium is led by Legal Aid of North Carolina, a statewide, nonprofit law firm that provides free civil legal aid to low-income North Carolinians. Members of the consortium are Access EastCapital Care CollaborativeCape Fear HealthNetCare RingCouncil on Aging of Buncombe CountyCumberland HealthNetHealthCare Access,HealthNet GastonLegal Services of Southern PiedmontMDC,Partnership for Community CarePisgah Legal Services and United Way of Greater Greensboro.

Media Contacts
Barbara Degen, Sr. Managing Attorney, Morganton Office, 828-437-8280 x2104
Sean Driscoll, Director of Public Relations, 919-856-2132

The project described was supported by Funding Opportunity number CA-NAV-15-001 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The contents provided are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of HHS or any of its agencies.