Local Navigators available, willing to answer questions about "Obamacare"

Confused by the new Health Care law? You're not alone.

84 people have visited with Valorie Libertus, a licensed Navigator at the Flint Hills Community Health Center-Lyon County Health Department, in the past 2 months.

Only 3 people visited her on Monday, Nov. 4, at the Emporia Public Library. The library played host for Libertus, who was on hand to answer questions about the new Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. "Obamacare."

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Libertus says she's helped 30 people apply for affordable health care on the troublesome website Healthcare.gov. One person has been enrolled with her help. Of the three people she saw on Monday, two of those were an older couple who were satisfied with their answers.

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She says the national media coverage of the new law is causing confusion among the masses.

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Libertus also debunked the myth regarding the penalties people can be charged with for not enrolling in the Affordable Care Act. The $95 penalty most commonly discussed is only for the first year. The second year an adult goes without insurance, it's raised to $325. And by 2016, that amount becomes $695 per adult, or $347.50 per child, or up to 2.5 percent of their annual income. All of this information is available at the website, www.healthcare.gov.

Libertus is one of 2 trained Navigators at the Health Center-Health Department. Another session at the library will be on Nov. 16. If you have questions about the new health care law, contact Libertus at 342-4864 ext. 3705.

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