Many Franklin County residents are missing out on the benefits of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, because they don’t know how to sign up or don’t understand the tax terms involved in the process, Crystal Taylor said.
Taylor, a financial representative for Modern Woodmen of America, is planning to play host to two two-hour workshops — 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. Thursday — at the Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce, 109 E. Second St., Ottawa. The workshops are free, the Chamber said.
People are confused by the tax credit terminology, Taylor said, and because possible enrollees don’t understand the technical part of the enrollment, they are losing out on possible benefits.
“The tax credit portion is the biggest problem for people,” she said. “You have to understand a lot of tax terminology, as well as insurance terminology, in order to understand exactly what that means. Even though the website is easy to use on the surface, it’s all of those things underneath that the average person just doesn’t understand how all of the mechanics of those credits work.”
March 31 is the final day to apply to get coverage through the healthcare.gov website for 2014, according to the website. Taylor said the Ottawa workshops will be a walkthrough on how to sign up with the website, as well as an explanation with how it will benefit some people. The purpose is to help participants understand tax credits, calculate tax credits, and discuss the different health plans offered, she said.
“There have been a lot of people who would have missed out on credits or wouldn’t have even signed up because they were quoting their rates without knowing how the credit worked, so they weren’t going to sign up,” Taylor said.
For more information or to RSVP, possible attendants are asked to call (785) 248-6558 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Those who cannot make the workshop may call to schedule an appointment for more hands-on training, according to a news release. Those attending should bring a laptop computer if available, she said.
“I really feel like people are missing the boat by not taking advantage of [the health care service],” Taylor said. “Anyone in the community can come and have a professional walk them through the process and help them get it done.”