BlueKC helps others make sense of Obamacare - KCTV5

BlueKC helps others make sense of Obamacare

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Obamacare is coming whether people are for it or not.

In the Kansas City region alone, it is estimated more than 300,000 people will have access to health insurance for the first time.

For those at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City, they have been preparing for this since the Affordable Care Act was passed in March 2010.

"It has been a very intense process but also a lot of fun," said Wayne Powell, vice president of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City.

Powell said the transition to the Affordable Care Act has been the most challenging experience in the company's 75-year history, more complex than when Medicaid and Medicare went into effect.

To make sure they are ready to inform, educate and serve the influx of the previously uninsured, they looked internally to their own employees as well as to experts in the field of insurance.

"Regulations over the last couple months have been coming in at a fast and furious rate, but we have really good people here who have been learning them and digesting them and communicating them to the company at large. But we have also been communicating with people in the marketplace that sit down with individuals when they go into the process of making the choice about insurance, and they are pretty well-prepared," Powell said.

At Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City, they have added extra staff to their it department, customer service and public relations. That is in addition to consultants.

Powell said with open enrollment beginning next week, he believes by the end of the year they will likely have a handle on the pace of enrollment, but that's about all they will likely know for sure.

"To understand how things shakeout for the company and industry at large, that will take a few years," Powell said.

The best piece of advice Powell has to give is educate yourself on the Affordable Care Act and see what is the best fit for you and your family.

To do that you go to kchealthcarereform.org or talk to a licensed insurance broker or agent.

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