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Care fair to help people with health insurance needs

CARE NV and the Boulder City Library will sponsor a health resources and Affordable Care Act enrollment fair from 1:30-4 p.m. Tuesday at the library to help people navigate the health care market before the ACA’s open enrollment period closes Jan. 31.

There will be multiple agencies at the event to assist people in choosing the plan that best fits their needs and allows them to keep their preferred doctors and hospitals.

Since the Affordable Care Act became law in 2010, the uninsured rate is down approximately 40 percent or more among all income groups, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

In addition, financial assistance is available through HealthCare.gov to all families making less than four times the federal poverty limit, yet there still are millions of Americans uninsured. That’s because, for many, the process of applying is foreign and can be intimidating, according to Randall Downey of CARE NV.

“A lot of people don’t understand health insurance,” Downey said. “They’ve either never had it or in the past only had it through their employer, so we are there to walk them through it. We don’t make the choice, but we help them find a plan that fits their needs and offers them the ability to stay in the network they are comfortable in.”

Despite a perception that the cost of health insurance is prohibitive, Downey says much of that comes from people not understanding how to use their network.

“We’ll look with them and figure out why their bills are high,” Downey said. “We’ll help them stay in their network, with their preferred providers, look at their budget and find the best plan that they can afford.”

Representatives also will help attendees determine their eligibility for financial assistance as they decide on a plan.

The Homestead at Boulder City will offer free blood pressure checks, and Immunize Nevada will be on site to provide flu shots to those 7 and older. Flu shots will be free to the uninsured; those with insurance should bring their insurance card.

Other participating agencies will include Dignity Health, Medicare SHIP, Emergency Aid of Boulder City, Lend a Hand of Boulder City and Planned Parenthood.

CARE NV has sponsored similar events around Southern Nevada in the past two years and there has been a strong response with more than 50 people attending the last event in Boulder City, Downey said

The library is at 701 Adams Blvd. For more information, visit http://bit.ly/2iAalzP.

Contact reporter Hunter Terry at hterry@boulder cityreview.com or call 702-586-6711. Follow him on Twitter @HunterBCReview

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