Group Helps Locals Figure Out Health Care Reform

POCATELLO, Idaho - A group is traveling the state, trying to help people understand what the Affordable Care Act means for health care in Idaho.

At it's core, Idaho Division of Welfare Administrator Russ Barron, said the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has a simple goal.

"Really this whole act, the whole thing boils down to having everyone covered, one way or another,? Barron said.

In practice, it's far from simple.

Experts and members of state agencies are going around Idaho, trying to let people get a little better idea of just what's going on.

"There's a lot to it. It can be complex, it can be complicated, and what we're trying to do is talk about what we know is going to happen,? Barron said.

At the meeting in Pocatello, the small crowd was made up mostly of community leaders trying to find out how new laws and changes could affect the people they serve.

"Just to find out more information because I think the Affordable Care Act is such a huge document and a huge bill,? Agency On Agency Director Sister Anthony-Marie Greving said.

Starting the end of 2013, qualifying for medicaid will be simplified and between 100,000 and 200,000 more Idahoans will be covered by medicaid.

The law also calls for an insurance exchange, a marketplace where people can compare insurance plans and take their pick.

But there aren't many answers right now as to how that will work.

If the state doesn't make it's own exchange, the federal government has said it will impose one.

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