Extension offering health insurance information session

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

For Barry County residents who want to know their options for health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act, an informational session hosted by University of Missouri Extension, in partnership with the Barry-Lawrence Regional Library Cassville Branch and the ACCESS Family Care and Mercy Hospital in Joplin, will help answer those questions.

The session, "Understanding Health Insurance Options," will be presented Monday from 6-7 p.m. at the Barry-Lawrence Regional Library in Cassville. The session is free, open to the public, and is offered as part of the Extension's health insurance education initiative. Following the program, certified application counselors will be available to answer questions.

"This one-hour course will help Barry County residents determine the best way to navigate all the insurance options through the Affordable Care Act," said Reagan Bluel, Barry County program director for University of Missouri Extension and regional dairy specialist. "Although one deadline has passed, it is not too late to sign up for health insurance through the Marketplace. Additionally, a specialist will educate utilizing your insurance plan, once enrolled."
"The health insurance education initiative will help Show-Me State citizens understand their health insurance options and learn how to get help in their own communities if they choose to enroll in Missouri's health insurance marketplace," said Brenda Procter, associate professor of consumer and family economics for MU Extension.
Because of the current health care law, individuals, families and businesses will need to make decisions about their health insurance. As a non-partisan neutral entity, University of Missouri Extension provides education to ensure that citizens have the resources and skills needed to make informed health insurance decisions for themselves, their family and their business.
For more information, people may visit the website: http://extension.missouri.edu/insure, which provides educational materials and links. "The website is a one-stop source for factual, unbiased information about the changes in health insurance that are required by the law," Procter said.

The Extension's health insurance education initiative website also provides resources for the state's small businesses, including information about tax credits for offering insurance to employees and explanations of rules that might affect their bottom line, Porter said.

University of Missouri Extension programs focus on the high-priority needs of Missourians. Each county extension center, with oversight by locally elected and appointed citizens, provides citizens with local links to practical education on a variety of matters. More information can also be accessed online at http://extension.missouri.edu.

Advance registration is appreciated. To register, people may call the Barry County Extension Center at 417-847-3161. Registration deadline is Friday.

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