Charlotte-Area Residents Can Receive Free, Objective Health Insurance Advice from NC MedAssist and Legal Services of the Southern Piedmont
August 22, 2013
Charlotte, N.C. – Beginning in October, many uninsured area residents will have access to affordable coverage through the new health insurance marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act. The marketplaces are a one-stop shop to help individuals and small employers shop for, select and enroll in qualified health plans. Marketplaces will also assist eligible individuals in receiving premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions and help individuals enroll in other federal and state health care programs, such as Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
To assist with enrollment, on August 15 the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced funding to four North Carolina agencies through the Navigator funding opportunity. NC MedAssist and Legal Services of the Southern Piedmont were grant recipients as part of the 10-agency consortium N.C. Community Care Network. Collaborating with other area agencies, both organizations will soon begin offering free, unbiased enrollment assistance to uninsured residents in Mecklenburg County. They will also provide additional assistance to consumers who are disabled, do not speak English or are unfamiliar with health insurance. Open enrollment under the Affordable Care Act begins October 1, 2013, and will run through March 31, 2014.
Legal Services of the Southern Piedmont and NC MedAssist will be coordinating the recruitment of volunteers and providing education opportunities in Mecklenburg County through the MedLink of Mecklenburg group. MedLink is a collaboration of over 25 safety net providers that plan for service delivery to the more than 160,000 uninsured residents in Mecklenburg County. More information on how to access this service will be available after Oct. 1 by contacting NC MedAssist at 704-536-1790 or Legal Services of Southern Piedmont at 704-376-1600.
NC MedAssist is a statewide non-profit pharmacy that helps low-income, uninsured North Carolinians get their needed prescription medication free of charge. They also offer services to seniors including medication management consultation and the Medicare Part D plan consultation and enrollment. Since expanding statewide in 2009, NC MedAssist has served more than 30,000 North Carolinians. Last year, MedAssist dispensed 174,000 prescriptions valued at more than $21 million.
Legal Services of Southern Piedmont’s mission is to ensure a full measure of justice for those in need, providing a wide range of civil legal assistance to eligible low-income persons in the Charlotte metropolitan area and west-central N.C. LSSP accomplishes its mission through a variety of legal advocacy strategies including individual advice and representation, community education and outreach, representation of groups, self-help remedies, collaboration with other agencies, community economic development, legislative and administrative advocacy, and impact litigation.