The library will offer regular sessions in their enclosed computer lab for residents to meet one-on-one with Certified Application Counselors. Reservations and walk-ins will be available during these free, regularly scheduled sessions. Call the library at 919-968-2780 for session times, reservations, and to find out what information to bring in order to get signed up with a healthcare plan.
Librarian Shannon Bailey notes, "Citizens turn to their libraries as a trusted resource and the Chapel Hill Public Library is committed to connecting patrons with the information and resources they need in order to sign up for health insurance." In addition to sign up sessions, the library will be hosting informational programs to provide an overall understanding of the Affordable Care Act.
The Chapel Hill Public Library is partnering with UNC Healthcare, the League of Women Voters of Orange-Durham-Chatham, Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina, and UNC's Student Health Action Coalition. To learn more and stay posted on ACA services at the Library, stop by the library, visit their website, or follow them on Facebook and Twitter.
A department of the Town of Chapel Hill, the Chapel Hill Public Library offers connections, choices, and community. To find out more about the library, is collections, programs, and services, visit http://www.chapelhillpubliclibrary.org/ or follow them on Facebook and Twitter.
Un-insured. In 2007 19.3% of North Carolinians under the age of 65 lacked health insurance for at least one year. An average of 1,500,000 residents had no health insurance. Reference Premiums vs. Paychecks: A Growing Burden for NC Workers by Families USA, Sept. 2008.
A March 2009 report by the North Carolina Institute of Medicine suggests that due to the recent increases in unemployment since 2007, the number of uninsured in North Carolina is estimated to be at approximately 1.8 million.
Under-insured. Rising health care costs and slow wage growth has forced more Americans to join the ranks of the underinsured. For example: your insurer has excluded a pre-existing condition from your policy. Or maybe your deductibles and co-pays will become a financial burden that could lead to personal bankruptcy if you become seriously ill. Or, your lifetime policy benefit is too low and your share of costs will be enormously high if you have a catastrophic illness.
Lack of personal security. You should have the personal security knowing that whatever your employment status, age, income, or medical history or condition, you have health insurance. The United States is the only industrialized country that does not have a national health insurance plan that covers everyone. It is the only country where people go bankrupt trying to cover health care costs. It is the only country where people worry about how they will pay for unexpected health care costs.
Runaway premiums. In North Carolina alone, premiums grew 5.3 times faster than workers earnings between 2000 and 2007, according to Families USA's new report, Premiums vs. Paychecks see above). Annual health care premium cost increases far exceed cost-of-living increases. For family health coverage provided through the workplace in North Carolina, annual health insurance premiums in the 2000-2007 period rose from $6,649 to $11,618--an increase of $4,969, or 74.7 percent.
Between 2000 and 2007, the median earnings of North Carolina's workers increased from $23,080 to $26,316--an increase of $3,236, or 14.0 percent.
Rising deductibles and co-payments. Even as premiums rise dramatically, we are paying more and more out of pocket for the same health care services.
Employer squeeze. Employers are put in a tough position of having to balance profits and employee health care needs. They increasingly face the task of choosing among insurers and millions of policy plans. Most recently employers have found it less expensive to fly workers to foreign countries for medical procedures. North Carolina has experienced an especially large decline in the percent of residents who received health care insurance from their employers.
Emergency room closures. Today, every North Carolinian, insured or not, facing an emergency, has to cope with hours of emergency room wait. This is because emergency rooms have become the last resort for the uninsured. Increasingly emergency rooms are providing so much uncompensated care that they have had to close their doors.
Lack of choice of providers. For many North Carolinians their choice of health care providers increasingly has become severely limited by insurance companies. Often, especially in rural areas, they are unable to find a provider near where they live.
Poorer benefits. Many insurance companies have limited benefits. For example, dental, vision and many parts of mental health care are often non-existent or inadequate.
Inefficiency and confusion. We have thousands of insurance companies and tens of thousands of insurance plans. It is confusing for patients, providers, employers and it is very inefficient. Too many health care dollars + nearly 30% - are spent on tedious administrative costs, marketing, and profit instead of on direct health care services.
Poorer medical outcomes. The United States spends twice as much money for health care per capita than the most advanced industrial countries and has the worst population-based health care outcomes in the industrialized world. For example, our life expectancy is the lowest in the industrialized world. To a large extent, this is because there are no system-wide standards of care or standards for reporting and investigating errors. It is estimated that over 700,000 Americans die each year from preventable medical errors in hospitals. Clinical and administrative waste is a big problem in our health care system.