The Affordable Care Act enrollment period starts Oct. 1 across the country, and at Goodwin Community Health, newly hired Outreach and Enrollment Specialist Mary Moynihan will be on hand to answer the community’s questions.
Moynihan’s background ranges from the medical field to social work, but both she and Goodwin Executive Director Janet Atkins agree her passion landed her the job.
“We were looking for someone who was educated in the process,” said Atkins. “We also wanted somebody that could also relate to people, and make sure that they were a good communicator and clearly articulate what is really best for the patient.”
According to Moynihan, the issue of health care coverage is personal.
“I’m living this,” she said. “We’ve all lived these scenarios.”
Moynihan started her position five days ago, and since then, she’s noticed a lot of questions from community members about the Affordable Care Act. She said the vast amount information surrounding the law can be difficult to understand.
“People don’t have accurate information,” she said, “and they’re afraid that things they don’t want are going to be forced on them. There’s many more choices than they think, and more aid than they think.”
The Affordable Care Act is a health care law requiring individuals to be insured. The new act represents a significant overhaul of the current system, offering the same rates to people with pre-existing conditions and setting up health insurance exchanges in each state to let individuals choose a specific provider and plan.
The law’s individual mandate requires those without coverage to pay a penalty, the cost of which will be determined by the individual’s income.
Speaking of the Affordable Care Act, Atkins said, “Many of our existing patients that are uninsured will be eligible to sign up on the exchange. What it means for the community is that people will be able to get preventative care instead of using the emergency department.”
The addition of Moynihan to Goodwin Community Health gives those with questions a chance for face-to-face interaction. For those without ready access to computers, and those who are struggling to find answers online, Moynihan has office hours at Goodwin on Tuesdays and Thursdays. She is also planning a number of community outreach events leading up to and following the Oct. 1 enrollment opening.
“The number one thing is to just talk to them about what their situation is,” said Moynihan. “It’s a resource, it’s just somebody that you can have a conversation with.”
For those interested in contacting Mary Moynihan call 516-2556 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.