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Heathsville woman, local organizations look to help residents obtain health insurance

Posted on Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 7:00 am

In October, Laurie Morrissette of Heathsville decided that somebody needed to step up and arrange local help for those who wanted assistance in signing up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. By early March she’d almost given up. The few non-profit organizations that answered her call to qualify as “certified applicant counseling organizations” hadn’t been certified yet and the March 31 deadline for applications was approaching.
“I almost gave up 10 days ago,” Morrissette said Saturday. Then, an idea struck her: Bill Botts, one of the six “navigators” for the act in Virginia, had agreed to come down when the local counselors had their meetings. Morrissette called Botts and talked him into coming down himself on March 22 and 29 to help people enroll.
Morrissette said she had approached as many as a dozen local non-profits asking that they serve as counseling organizations, “CACs.” Three agreed to do it, Mid-County Rescue Squad, Macedonia Baptist Church and The Food Bank. “Many were called but few stood up,” Morrissette said.
Although Mid-County was willing to help, one of the requirements under the act is that the “CAC” have a dedicated telephone line. Morrissette decided she shouldn’t tie up a rescue squad’s line that way, which left Macedonia and the Food Bank. By early March, their applications to the CACs had not been approved and…

—Read the full story in the March 19 issue of the Northumberland Echo, on stands now!