(Dec. 18, 2013) -- In an effort to dispel myths about the federal health insurance marketplace in San Antonio, Community First Health Plans teamed up with the UTSA Policy Studies Center to sponsor the Affordable Care Fair on Dec. 7 at the UTSA Downtown Campus.
The event featured a panel discussion moderated by Rogelio Saenz, dean of the UTSA College of Public Policy. Speakers included District 5 Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales, Community First Health Plans President and CEO Greg Gieseman, CommuniCare Health Centers Chief Revenue Officer Quiara Sherrard and Jose Ibarra of Enroll America.
A video archive of the policy discussion is available on YouTube and NOWCastSA.com. Speakers discuss the basics of the enrollment process and how our community can benefit from the Affordable Care Act. San Antonio is among cities with the highest rates of uninsured Texans.
"Despite the Affordable Care Act becoming law, there have been many efforts to do away with, to scrap, to delay, to change and to modify it," Saenz said. "Despite the problems with the website and all of the efforts to do away with the ACA or delay it, we know that the ACA is much better than the system we have in place. For many people in our country, our state and community, that means not having any health care (coverage) at all."
According to Saenz, the following groups are uninsured in our community:
Those statistics, Saenz, said underscore the immediate need for the Affordable Care Act and expansion of new health-care programs across Bexar County.
Gieseman of Community First said that, despite all of the debate and website glitches, many parts of the ACA have already been implemented.
"There are many things that have been done: expanding coverage to include dependent children under age 26 or requiring insurers to spend a certain percentage of their premiums on medical care," Gieseman said. "The ACA is a great big thing, and a lot of components have already been implemented."
Another important facet of the ACA -- no delays on health-care coverage for pre-existing conditions -- can make the difference between life and death.
"Typically, what has happened in the past is that people with pre-existing conditions might have to wait a year before they can get coverage for a particular kind of condition," said Sherrard of CommuniCare. "Those conditions are usually serious ones like HIV or cancer. You can actually die from these things if you don't get the care that you need."
Gonzales said greater access to affordable health insurance will help to empower families.
"The adults in our area aren't covered; as families we have to support each other," she said. "If the adults are sick or the grandparents are sick, the child is not going to be well, regardless of how much coverage the child has."
>> Anyone with questions about the Affordable Care Act Dec. 23 deadline to enroll for Jan. 1 coverage can call 1-888-323-7407 or visit CommunityFirstHealth.org.
About Community First Health Plans
Community First Health Plans was established in 1995 by the University Health System to provide health-care coverage to the citizens of Bexar and the surrounding counties. As the only locally owned and managed, nonprofit health plan in the area, CFHP's commitment to its members is to provide great health-care benefits backed by outstanding service, delivered by people who live in South Texas.
The winners of the competition held in December perform instrumental concertos and selections from operas accompanied by the orchestra. Tickets are $5. Each UTSA student with ID get one free ticket.
Arts Building, Recital Hall (ARTS 2.03.02), Main Campus
The College of Engineering invites you to the Tech Symposium showcasing innovative student projects & research performed across multiple disciplines. The symposium will not only include work in engineering, but also advances achieved in business and science.
Convocation Center, Main Campus
The Historical Trumpets and Flutes are premier chamber ensembles within the US Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps. actively serving their community and official military ceremonies will perform at UTSA. The concert is free and open to the public.
Arts Building, Band Rehearsal Hall (ARTS 2.03.20), Main Campus
Please join us for a free research symposium of nationally renowned scholars who will share their insights on 21st century educational policies and the climate they foster for today's schools, teachers and students.
Durango Building, Southwest Room (DB 1.124), Downtown Campus
The unofficial Fiesta event is an alcohol-free party that's a favorite among the UTSA community and San Antonio families. There will be free food, live music and other activities. Students will also be able to test out texting and driving and drunk driving simulators.
Paseo, Main Campus
United to Serve is a System-wide volunteer initiative involving UT System students, administrators, faculty and staff. Join fellow Roadrunner volunteers for this kickoff event prior to volunteering.
University Center Lawn, Main Campus
UTSA Music Biz Day is an annual music symposium for the San Antonio community and students to network with music professionals and learn about how to get involved in the industry independent of experience. The event is free and open to all.
Arts Building, Recital Hall (ARTS 2.03.02), Main Campus
The Policy Studies Center is hosting its first statewide Latino Policy Symposium to address public policies that contribute to the well-being of Latino families. The theme is Path to Power and Prosperity. This working summit provides an opportunity for public agencies, non-profits to review the impact of local and state policies targeting education, labor/employment/housing, and health and human services.
Buena Vista Street Building, Meeting Assembly Room (BVB 1.338), Downtown Campus
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
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