Rite Aid Provides Free Affordable Care Act Resources
So what does the Affordable Care Act mean for Rite Aid customers and those living in the communities we serve? It’s a question that Rite Aid is prepared to help answer.
U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, joined Rite Aid Chairman and CEO John Standley at Rite Aid pharmacy in Hoboken, N.J., as the company announced that independent, licensed insurance agents would be providing free consultations in select Rite Aid stores beginning Oct. 1.On Oct. 1, the open enrollment period for the Health Insurance Marketplace, also referred to as the “exchanges,” opened in each state, giving millions of Americans access to health insurance plans.
Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Americans who don’t currently have health insurance may be required to obtain coverage for 2014 or face a penalty. In addition, individuals and families may be eligible for subsidies to help them afford the cost of obtaining health insurance.
With such drastic changes taking place in the health insurance landscape, Rite Aid has assembled a comprehensive set of resources to help customers better understand Healthcare Reform and get the information they need to make the right health insurance choices for themselves and their families.
From Oct. 1 through the end of open enrollment on March 31, independent, licensed insurance agents are available for free consultations in select Rite Aid stores, except in Massachusetts, Vermont and Rhode Island, where prohibited by state government restrictions. In the selected stores, agents will be available at specified hours to meet one-on-one with customers to answer questions about the Affordable Care Act and help them compare healthcare plans based on individual needs. Customers will also be able to enroll in a plan if they choose.
The independent, licensed agents available in Rite Aid stores have received specific training to facilitate the free Affordable Care Act counseling sessions. The agents are also able to advise customers on Medicaid eligibility, which has been expanded in several states. Appointments are not necessary for these brief, initial consultations.
In addition, Rite Aid stores are offering informational brochures on the Affordable Care Act. More information, including which stores have agents and the hours those agents are available, can be accessed at www.riteaid.com/affordablecare.
“As a trusted community health care provider, our customers look to us for help in making healthcare decisions for themselves and their families,” said Standley. “With the implementation of the Healthcare Insurance Marketplace, our customers now have many new choices to make in the coming enrollment period.
“We know they will look to Rite Aid for information and guidance,” Standley said, “and that’s why we’re providing free resources in store and online, to help them better understand the new requirements and options available to them under the new law.”
At the Sept. 9 news conference in Hoboken, which drew widespread media coverage, Sebelius said that providing information at a drugstore makes sense because pharmacists are on the front lines of health care.
“This has to be an on-the-ground effort,” Sebelius said. “Americans trust their pharmacists. Often, the pharmacist is the on-the-ground health provider people see the most and know the best.”