Don’t be intimidated by

There are so many different options for health care these days and so much fine print, just looking for the best fit for your needs can be very time consuming and frustrating. A non-profit consumer advocacy group, Enroll Virginia is available to change that. Elizabeth Barbour, a certified assister, is very familiar with the whole process, and which products are right for different households.

Elizabeth Barbour,

“The marketplace represents a set of options that have been given clearance by the federal exchange, which has very high standards for those plans offered to consumers.   In other words these plans meet minimum values for care, and essential health benefits which signal what a good health insurance plan must have within it. So, anything you find on the exchange is the ‘real MaGilla’, because there are some imposter products out there, and that’s the value of coming to a certified assister that works with a non-profit agency.”

Barbour can explain not only how to go through the process, but also identify if you qualify, or not for a subsidy.

“Number one, folks who are offered employer plans may not come over to the exchange and receive any kind of a subsidy.”

If a person happens to be at greater than four hundred percent of the poverty level, they can also find a plan through the exchange, but it would be without subsidy.

And for those folks whose income does not allow them to get onto a plan because they are under 100% of the federal poverty level, we will have resources to speak with them about for the kind of care their community might offer to folks who do not have a standard insurance plan.” So those are the exceptions, but Enroll Virginia is committed to finding health care for as many Virginians seeking it as possible. All of the information needed to begin the process, such as projected household income for 2016, is absolutely confidential. “

Barbour can also let you know if you would not be required to have health insurance even under the new laws.

“Virginia, the state of Virginia did not expand Medicaid so people under a certain income bracket will receive an exemption from having to carry health coverage and those same people will not receive a subsidy. We call that the Medicaid gap.”

Enroll Virginia will be available to the public in a variety of ways throughout November, December and January. One way to get started is to go to   There you can find exactly when and where you can meet with an assister locally. Or call 540-345-1839 for information. Thursday, November 5th and Thursday, November12th from 6 to 8pm will be the two informational sessions in Bath County at the Public Library. Elizabeth Barbour will be taking appointments to meet with individuals to work on the application process on Wednesday, November 18th. Again, to learn more, or to make an appointment, call 540-345-1839.

For information on the Clifton Forge and Covington dates, use the same phone number, or again visit EnrollVirginia,org. .

Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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