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Good Sam encourages sign ups at healthcare.gov

good-sam 6490    Good Sam has brought on Myrna Denson as an outreach and enrollment assister.
   

If you are without health insurance, the local Good Samaritan Health and Wellness Clinic encourages you to log on to healthcare.gov before the January 31st deadline expires or you will face penalties for remaining uninsured.


    The local Good Sam clinic, which has switched from a free clinic this year to now accepting insurance, is working with the public to make sure everyone who is eligible and needs insurance is signed up. Executive Director of Good Sam Carole Maddux said the advantages offered by the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare) will really help them provide medical treatment to the working poor.

    While Good Sam will continue it’s founding principal of not turning anyone away, having patients who are covered by the ACA will be crucial for serious needs.
    Maddux said the local clinic can work to provide what they can with their new sliding scale, but when the situation is dire (surgery or hospitalization), having the insurance will see that those needs are met.
    Good Sam has even hired Myrna Denson as an outreach and enrollment assister charged with helping anyone sign up (Good Sam patient or not).
    Denson said she has really enjoyed the opportunity this job has given her in retirement to make a difference.
    “I don’t want to be known as someone with a clean house,” she said. “Every day I feel like I am making a difference.”
    Thus far, Denson has helped 112 people sign up on healthcare.gov. According to Denson, the site is actually pretty easy to use if a person wanting to sign up is minimally computer literate. The choice of different plans presented is not “dizzying.” Denson makes it clear, neither she nor Good Sam accept any payments for this. Denson emphasizes that her role and job title is an “assister.”
    Under the ACA provisions, anyone who is at 138 percent of the federal poverty level or higher must have insurance. Those under 128 percent are exempt, but should be eligible for some type of Medicaid. Maddux said the coverage should really help the working poor by providing reasonable health insurance.
    With the administrative changes at Good Sam, the clinic has greatly expanded offerings, hours and availability. Gone are residence restrictions and they now see insured clients, just like a regular doctor. They have also added staff to the dental part of the clinic and now see children with doctors and dentists.
    Still a key to their mission is the sliding scale fees, starting at $25 for the uninsured below poverty level. And even that may be charged or worked into a billing plan.
    “We are still here for everyone,” said Maddux. “No one in this area should do without healthcare.”
    To make an appointment with Denson to discuss healthcare needs and how Good Sam can help, go by the clinic at 175 Samaritan Drive, across the Thrift Store, as you go south on Church Street from Jasper. Or call (706) 253-4673.