Upcoming events to discuss impacts of Affordable Care Act

Several speaker panels and other events lined up over the next few weeks will discuss various components of the Affordable Care Act and how they will affect local families and businesses.

Speaker panel to focus on health care reform’s local impacts

The League of Women Voters of Bellingham/Whatcom County will host several guest speakers for an event that explores what local families want from the Affordable Care Act, and whether the new reform will deliver.

The event will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 16, at the central branch of the Bellingham Public Library, located at 210 Central Ave., in downtown Bellingham. Speakers include Elya Moore, deputy director at Whatcom Alliance for Health Advancement; Desmond Skubi, executive director of Interfaith Community Health Center; Bertha Safford, a family physician for Family Care Network; and Bill Gorman, interim director of the Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Along with video interviews with local “people on the street” talking about their healthcare needs, speakers will place the new health care reform in historical context and explain both the need and impacts the act has already had on patients, health care practitioners and businesses, according to event organizers.

Doors open at 9:30 a.m. Coffee and treats will be served.

Seminars in Bellingham, Ferndale to take a business perspective

A pair of free seminars, one of Thursday, Nov. 14, the other on Wednesday, Nov. 20, will focus on the business effects of the Affordable Care Act and the new Washington Health Benefit Exchange.

The Nov. 14 seminar will be from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the community room of the Ferndale branch of the Whatcom Educational Credit Union (Register here). The Nov. 20 seminar will be from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Pickford Film Center in Bellingham (Register here).

The seminars are offered courtesy of the Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber, Sustainable Connections, Group Health, Rice Insurance and a number of other local business groups.

The events will feature four experts in the health care field as guest speakers.

Scott Hacker, from the Washington Health Benefit Exchange, will discuss various elements of the exchange: how it works, how to sign up and what plans are available. Keith Wallace, president elect of the Northwest Washington Health Underwriters Association and a Rice Insurance representative, will speak about individual and group health insurance plans available from insurance companies.

Jim Stevens, a member of the WA Health Advisory Committee and a representative of The Unity Group, will address the process of insuring individuals and small groups.  Tessa Ebbesen, an accountant at VSH, will talk about the IRS, federal tax rules, credits, subsidies and other implications of health care for businesses.

For more information, call Sustainable Connections at 360-647-7093, or the Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber at 360-746-2433.

Group Health to host free health care event in Bellingham 

Group Health is offering a free seminar from 2-3 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 11, where company representatives will answer questions about the new health care reform process and share information about Group Health plans.

The seminar will be held at St. Luke’s Community Health Education Center, located at 3333 Squalicum Parkway in Bellingham. Space is limited and registration is required. To RSVP, visit www.ghc.org/if or call 1-800-358-8815, weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

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