Press release from Pisgah Legal Services:
Do you have questions about choosing affordable, quality health insurance? Pisgah Legal Services can help with free, unbiased, in-person assistance for the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) Seventh Open Enrollment, taking place from Friday, Nov. 1, to Sunday, Dec. 15.
Shannon Cornelius, Pisgah Legal’s Health Justice Program Director, says, “Although most people need health insurance, many do not know how to shop for and compare health insurance options. Confusion exists among consumers about the ACA, and whether the law is even still in existence.”
She continues, “We want people to know that the ACA is still the law, and enrollment is happening again this year. Pisgah Legal Services and other enrollment partners in WNC give anyone – regardless of income – free, unbiased health insurance information and enrollment assistance with free, one-on-with appointments with trained assisters who can guide them through this process. This year we have more capacity than ever before and are scheduling daytime, evening – even weekend – appointments.”
Appointments can be made online at www.pisgahlegal.org or by calling (828) 210-3404 or toll free 855-733-3711.
Financial assistance is still available to those who qualify. Last year, more than 90 percent of North Carolinians who enrolled for coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace received financial assistance to make their plans more affordable.
Free, In-Person Help is Available with Trained Professionals
Pisgah Legal Services (PLS), a nonprofit that provides free legal aid, and other Enrollment Partners of WNC participating organizations give local residents free, unbiased health insurance information and enrollment assistance in the NC Health Insurance Marketplace. These organizations include: Blue Ridge Community Health Services, Council on Aging of Buncombe County, Legal Aid of North Carolina, Mountain Projects, Inc., Pisgah Legal Services, Western Carolina Medical Society and WNC Community Health Services.
Consumers who wish to meet with a Pisgah Legal Services may also schedule an appointment in Asheville at the Pisgah Legal Service office, 62 Charlotte Street, or at other locations around WNC.
Events are happening near you!
Pisgah Legal partners are helping to kick off Open Enrollment with events across Western North Carolina. These events include scheduled appointments and walk-ins:
- Friday, Nov. 1: Mountain Projects Inc, 25 Schulman St., Sylva, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
- Saturday, Nov. 2: Pisgah Legal Services, 62 Charlotte St., Asheville, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
- Tuesday, Nov. 5: Marion Train Depot, 45 Depot St., Marion, 8 a.m.-12 p.m. and 3 p.m.-7 p.m.
- Wednesday, Nov. 6: Polk County Library, 1289 W. Mills St., Columbus, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
- Wednesday, Nov. 6: Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital (Murphy Medical Center) 3990 E U.S. Highway 64 Alt, Murphy, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Call 828-400-3149.
- Thursday, Nov. 7: Old Fort First Baptist Church, 203 E. Main St., Old Fort, 3:30-7:30 p.m.
- Thursday, Nov. 7: Haywood County Library, 678 Haywood St., Waynesville, 12:30-6:30 p.m. Call 828-452-1447.
- Saturday, Nov. 9: Macon County Library, 149 Siler Farm Rd., Franklin, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Call 828-400-4177.
The Affordable Care Act – also known as Obamacare – is the law that ensures access to quality, affordable health insurance on the Health Insurance Marketplace. With these plans, consumers are protected and:
- Can’t be denied coverage for a pre-existing health condition and can’t be dropped for getting sick;
- Insurers can’t charge higher premiums to women; and
- Insurers can’t sell substandard plans that don’t pay for essential health care benefits.
Pisgah Legal is providing assistance with this year’s Open Enrollment thanks to funding from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust. The Trust was established in 1947 and is now one of the largest private trusts in North Carolina. Its mission is to improve the quality of life and quality of health for the financially needy in North Carolina. The Health Care Division promotes wellness state-wide by investing in prevention and treatment. The Poor and Needy Division of the Trust responds to basic life needs and invests in solutions that improve the quality of life and health for financially needy residents of Forsyth County. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. serves as the sole trustee.
For more than 40 years, Pisgah Legal has provided free civil legal aid to help low-income people meet their basic needs, such as protection from domestic violence, avoiding homelessness, and accessing health care and increase income. PLS has 27 attorneys on staff and relies heavily on the pro bono legal services of 300+ volunteer attorneys. PLS’ main service area includes eight WNC counties, with offices in Asheville, Brevard, Hendersonville, Marshall, Rutherfordton and Spruce Pine. Last year PLS served more than 16,000 people. For more information, visit www.pisgahlegal.org.