Monday, March 17, 2014 - 2:33pm
WISC-TV – News 3 Provides Air Time
If you still don´t have health insurance but still have a lot of questions about what to do, help will be available right on your TV set on March 18th from 3pm to 7pm on WISC-TV, channel 3 or cable channel 9. During those hours, there will be a phone bank staffed by knowledgeable local people from a variety of area health and advocacy organizations. With the March 31st deadline looming, this unique live TV event can provide you with answers to last minute questions and get you ready to enroll in the Health Insurance Marketplace.
The phone bank team is comprised of volunteers from 12 local organizations working on health insurance awareness and enrollment. Several volunteers also speak Spanish and Hmong.
“With only two weeks left for people to select a plan or leave themselves open to a possible tax penalty, we want to make sure that lingering questions are answered, misperceptions are cleared up and people know how to get help to enroll,” explains Molly Bandt, director of Covering Kids & Families Wisconsin, one of the participating organizations.
The Health Insurance Marketplace is part of the Affordable Care Act that offers private insurance plans to US citizens and legal residents under age 65 who need affordable coverage. The plans are full service and cover preventive care like screenings and vaccines, as well as doctor visits, hospital stays, mental health care and prescriptions. In the Dane County area, four familiar insurance companies offer plans with different coverage levels to meet different budgets.
“It takes up to an hour to apply and enroll, and the process can take even less time for families without special insurance needs,” reveals Sarah Valencia, medical clinical operations director at Access Community Health Centers. To smooth the process, Valencia advises people to gather identification, income, health and medical needs, and any existing insurance information for each family member who needs insurance. “We recommend anyone who has questions or is unsure about the process get help enrolling to be sure they meet the deadline.”
In Dane County, people can get help from trained experts free of charge at the Dane County Job Center, Monday through Friday 8 am to 4 pm. The Center is located at 1819 Aberg Ave. in Madison. Trained Public Health staff is available at public libraries throughout the county through March 24th. Click here to find a schedule and locations.
For more local assistance resources, call United Way’s 2-1-1.
“With this landmark change in health insurance, we want to be sure that we can educate and motivate our viewers to make the best choices possible for their own and their families’ health,” says WISC-TV News Director Colin Benedict. “Part of our mission at News 3 is to help our viewers make informed decisions and this is an easy way to get questions answered.”
The call-in number for the phone bank is 608-274-4000. It will be active from 3 to 7 pm on Tuesday, March 18. Visit channel3000.com and the Channel 3000 mobile app for more information about the Affordable Care Act.
Phone Bank partners include: Covering Kids & Families Wisconsin, Access Community Health Centers, Capital Regional Enrollment Network, Dane County Human Services, Dane County Aging and Disability Resource Center, Dean Health Plan, Group Health Cooperative, Public Health Madison and Dane County, United Way of Dane County, Dane County UW Extension, Wisconsin Council on Children & Families and Wisconsin Primary Health Care Association.
- Lauren Cnare - Covering Kids & Families Wisconsin , (608) 261-1455 (office) or (608) 235-9179 (cell), firstname.lastname@example.org