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PA Health Access Network to Host ACA Awareness Event

Open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act begins Tuesday, and the Pennsylvania Health Access Network (PHAN) wants to make sure people understand what that means to them.

PHAN is hosting a community awareness event Tuesday at the Hill House in Pittsburgh with the goal of educating Pennsylvanians on the new health care law.

Erin Ninehouser, PHAN education and outreach director, said they plan to talk about the new choices, protections and benefits that come with the law.

“We really want to get the word out and make sure folks understand that the new healthcare law means that no one has to be shut out,” Ninehouser said. “Everyone is going to have affordable options and a way to get coverage. We want to make sure folks understand how to navigate the new system and get the coverage they need for themselves and their families.”

According PHAN, the new law allows uninsured Americans to sign up for coverage that is affordable. It will provide new tax credits and financial protections and will make insurance companies compete for business.

Ninehouser said PHAN has taken part in outreach and education events throughout Western Pennsylvania, but this will be the first of many they will host in Pittsburgh.

“It’s really amazing, you go into a lot of areas and you can kind of see by the look on people’s faces that they’ve only heard misinformation, you know, about the law,” Ninehouser said. “And when you actually start taking about what the law actually does to make sure coverage is quality and folks have affordable choices, their eyes just light up.”

She claims small businesses and senior citizens have especially been targeted with inaccurate information.

“Some of the most important decisions we make are about our health and the health of our families, and we need to be making those decisions with accurate, reality-based information … we definitely don’t want to see folks not accessing the protections and the choices and the benefits the law brings because they’ve only heard misinformation and things that aren’t true,” Ninehouser said.

It begins at 10 a.m. in the Kaufman Auditorium at the Hill House.

Jess is from Elizabeth Borough, PA and is a junior at Duquesne University with a double major in journalism and public relations. She was named as a fellow in the WESA newsroom in May 2013.