With the Affordable Care Act kicking off in January 2014, Sidney Health Center now has a trained “health navigator” on staff. Kay Johnson, BSW took state and national online training courses last fall to become certified as a navigator. With this designation, Johnson is available to answer questions on the Affordable Care Act and help uninsured community members sign-up for new insurance plans.
Navigators are individuals who have undergone extensive training on the Affordable Care Act and how to educate the public on new health care plans. With assistance from a federal grant, Johnson was trained to offer in-person assistance to anyone in the region who needs to sign-up for health insurance. Navigators also assist the public in preparing applications for insurance and assessing eligibility for certain new plans. Navigator services are offered free of charge.
“I am here to assist area individuals and their families in accessing health plans that may be more affordable,” stated Johnson. “There are a lot of quality health insurance plans available and my job as a navigator is to answer questions and help reduce any stress in selecting a plan that best fits their healthcare needs.”
October 1 of last year marked the opening of the Health Insurance Marketplace where Montanans can compare and sign-up for certain affordable, private insurance options. Under the Affordable Care Act, many uninsured Montanans qualify for special tax credits and lower premiums that make health insurance more affordable. Individuals have until March 31, 2014 to sign-up for a health insurance plan to avoid any penalties.
For more information or to schedule a time to meet with Kay Johnson, Health Navigator, please call 406-488-2194 for an appointment or visit the facility at 216 14th Ave SW between the hours of 9:00AM – 4:00PM. Individuals can also check out the Marketplace at www.healthcare.gov for insurance options.