For the people signing up for insurance for the first time in Wisconsin, it can be a complicated process to understand, but there are several resources in Northeast Wisconsin to help people break down what they need to know.
“This is going to be a whole new language for our clients,” said Mary Parsons, the Executive Director of Leaven.
Leaven is a non-profit organization in Menasha that serves more than 7100 low income households in the greater Fox Cities—helping them pay rent and utilities bills.
With the recent changes to insurance requirements under the Affordable Care Act, they have now been trained to help patients with insurance questions.
“We know a lot of our clients are in a financial crisis because of an uninsured medical issue,” Parsons said.
While Leaven employees can’t tell you which plan to pick, there are organizations in the community that can.
Partnership Community Health Center in Menasha sees more than 10,000 patients a year—most of whom are at or below the poverty level; A group that will soon have to apply for insurance.
Development Director, Trish Sarvela, said “We’ve really invested into 5 certified application counselors to help with the people that are most vulnerable.”
Those five CAC’s can help patients read over each insurance plan, explain all options, and advise patients on the best plan for them. They even have Spanish speaking counselors.
“Bringing a message of not only health and health care but access to care and enrollment and really working towards the broader goal of the health community is great,” said Sarvela.
At the Brown County Human Services Center they have packets and pamphlets filled with information about the Affordable Care Act.
They also have 50 economic support specialists who can meet with you in person.
Brown Co. Human Services Economic Support Administrator, Jenny Hoffman, said “We would help them with the process of applying to Bader Care Plus whether it be online or by appointment with one of our economic support specialists.”
The Brown County Human Services Department also has a computer lab so people can research the various plans offered.
With more than 4-thousand uninsured people in Brown County Hoffman said they want to do everything they can to help.
“It is a significant number and we’re trying to do the outreach and our community is really pulling together a lot of the community partners and providers are coming together to
make sure that we do network and do outreach and get to the community that is uninsured,” she said.
Below are links with more information
Market Place Number 1-800 318-2596
For information on Leaven: http://www.focol.org/leaven/
For links to the Brown County Human Services Dept.: http://www.co.brown.wi.us/departments/?department=dd09bd30c78e
For information on the Partnership Community Center: http://www.partners.org/Community/Enhancing-Access/Community-Health-Centers.aspx