The Iowa Insurance Division is launching a series of public meetings across the state to help folks understand the rollout of the Affordable Care Act and the associated state insurance plans. The first of 23 meetings across Iowa will be held tonight in Sioux City.
Angel Robinson, spokeswoman for the insurance division, says there are two big changes coming that will impact everyone.”One, next year, everybody needs to have health care coverage or they could face a tax penalty,” Robinson says, “and then two, starting next year, there will be opportunities for people to access health insurance coverage and possibly get some form of assistance if they have to purchase it on their own.”
Robinson says she’s finding that more and more people in Iowa know that the changes are looming. She says, “I think they are aware health care reform is really kicking in one of its big requirements coming next year, but people are getting details and asking questions about, ‘How does this apply to me?'”
Robinson says one message people need to understand is, someone will make a choice for you if you don’t make your own decision. She says, “They have to make some sort of definitive and proactive choice, otherwise, by federal law, the federal government is going to make that choice for you.”
Tonight’s meeting is at 6:30 at the Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City. In the coming weeks, more meetings are planned in: Spencer, Storm Lake, Carroll, Atlantic, Davenport, Clinton, Clarinda, Elkader and Ottumwa — with more being planned. There’s more information online at the Iowa Insurance Consumer Advocate: “insuranceca.iowa.gov”
(Reporting by Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton)