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Bainbridge Public Library to host informational meeting on Affordable Care Act

The Bainbridge Island Public Library will be hosting an informational on the new federal healthcare law this November.

Island librarians Audrey Barbakoff and Tressa Johnson decided to organize a county-wide response to the Affordable Care Act since the Washington Health Benefit Exchange became active this week.

The exchange was established in conjunction with the Affordable Care Act, also known as "Obamacare," to make sure people obtain health insurance through their employer, a government program or the private marketplace by Jan. 1.

The Kitsap Regional Library will publish web-based resources and is partnering with the Kitsap County Public Health District to host informational meetings in multiple locations.

"According to the last Census, there are more than 27,000 uninsured Kitsap residents," Johnson said. "With this high number, we anticipate an influx of questions once the state insurance exchange opens."

The Bainbridge Island Public Library will host an informational meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 13. The session will be presented by trained representatives from the Kitsap Public Health District who will answer a variety of questions from what is required, what benefits are available, and how to navigate the sign-up process for enrolling.

The meeting will be useful to those who are purchasing health insurance for the first time, those who are facing changes to their existing coverage, or just those who want to know more about the law.

"The library is a neutral zone," Johnson said.

"We're not trying to sell something," she said. "We are here to provide information and support so that people can make the decisions that are right for them and their particular situation."

Beginning Oct. 1, the Bainbridge Public Library will display printed materials provided by the health district through the end of the year.

Through limited registration, one-on-one sessions with health district volunteers will also be available through the Bainbridge and Bremerton libraries to help those with minimal technical skills.

 

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