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Goodwill Offers Customers Insurance Information

Goodwill Industries of Arkansas is offering free consultations for people who may qualify for free or low-cost insurance.
Northwest Arkansas - Goodwill Industries of Arkansas is offering free consultations for people who may qualify for free or low-cost insurance.

Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield experts are rotating between twelve stores across the state to help people enroll.

"It's a way to give individuals an advocate, a product expert that they would not have access to before," says Jerry Duncan, Market Manager for Arkansas Blue Cross. "Often times they're not going to come to the Blue Cross office, but if we go to them there may be a different comfort level there, and really it's about allowing people access to something that they're eligible for that they might not otherwise know about."

In May the state legislature expanded Medicaid, making it available to more than a quarter of a million Arkansans who didn't qualify before.

"We were surprised how many people can qualify through Medicaid," says Francy Ford, District Manager for Goodwill Industries of Arkansas. "They can actually help them sign up for that too... In many cases you might qualify for free or low cost health insurance and that's pretty exciting for people who haven't had insurance before."

Yvonne Miller has been looking for work for a year, but that doesn't exclude her from the Affordable Care Act's mandate.

"It's really hard to try to find a job right now," Miller says. "I am going to be out of insurance at the end of the year. I need to have something."

She says the on site consultation made it easy to learn about new options.

"The plans are reallly good," Miller says. "The deductibles, they're a little steep... but the prices for a month, you know he quoted me $64.97 for a monthly payment, so that's not bad."

Ford says partisan politics are slowing the spread of objective information.

"What you hear is a lot of confusion," she says. "This way they can go and see, because it's really individualized, what your income is, how many people in your family."

Armed with new information, Miller is ready to enroll, but the right plan will have to wait until Healthcare.gov can work out its kinks.

"I hope it gets online soon so we can get this before the end of the year," she says.

The program is running at twelve different stores across the state, but the reps rotate to different stores each day.

Goodwill Location
705 E. Appleby Road - Thursdays and Fridays: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
3105 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. - Saturdays: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

4301 South Dixieland Road - Sundays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
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