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April 7, 2010 > Do You Need Your Health Insurance Questions Answered?

Do You Need Your Health Insurance Questions Answered?

Washington Hospital Seminar Will Cover Health Insurance Options

Now that President Barack Obama has signed into law health care reform, what will it mean for you? While the biggest changes will not take effect until 2014, some important provisions will begin as early as June, while others will kick in by the end of the year. These include significant new restrictions on the insurance industry and new protections for consumers who already have health insurance.

In an effort to provide helpful information about health insurance options, Washington Hospital's Health Insurance Information Service will conduct a free public seminar that will cover the many health insurance plans that are available to you and your family members. The seminar will take place on Wednesday, April 14 from 10 a.m. to Noon at the Conrad E. Anderson, M.D. Auditorium located at 2500 Mowry Avenue (Washington West) in Fremont. Visit to register.

What Type of Health Insurance Is Best For You?

Our health care system comes with a great variety of health insurance options. The options span the spectrum from low cost, minimal coverage to all-inclusive policies. At the upcoming seminar, you will learn about HMO and PPO insurance plans, Medi-Cal and other government sponsored programs. COBRA and how COBRA subsidies work will be discussed for those who have recently become unemployed.

What is COBRA?

People who have been laid off and had employer-sponsored health insurance are usually eligible for up to 18 months of continued coverage under COBRA, the federal law more formally known as the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. COBRA requires continuation coverage to be offered to covered employees, their spouses, their former spouses, and their dependent children when group health coverage would otherwise be lost due to an employment lay off. Under COBRA, employers may require individuals who elect continuation coverage to pay the full cost of the coverage, plus a two percent administrative charge.

What is HIPAA?

HIPAA stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. It allows people to buy individual health insurance when they lose their group health insurance, even if they have a pre-existing health condition. If you qualify, all health plans that sell individual plans must offer you health insurance. You cannot be denied insurance because of your medical history. HIPPA adds protections and makes it easier to switch jobs without fear of losing health coverage for a preexisting condition.

Learn More About Washington On Wheels Mobile Health Clinic

Since 2002, the Washington On Wheels (W.O.W.) Mobile Health Clinic has provided vital health care services to residents in the community that lack health insurance or do not have a regular physician.

By bringing health care directly to where people live, Washington On Wheels treats thousands of patients each year by visiting local senior centers, community centers, schools, and churches every week. The W.O.W. Mobile Health Clinic sees an average of more than 3,000 patients a year and demand for services has continued to grow steadily each year, especially as many struggle to find care without health insurance.

The dedicated staff of the mobile clinic offer physical exams, blood pressure and cholesterol screenings, child and adult immunizations, flu shots and many other medical services. Washington On Wheels has also developed a successful diabetes education and screening program and works with local schools to make sure children receive all of their necessary vaccinations. Many of these services are provided to uninsured patients who qualify, free of charge.

To learn more about Washington On Wheels, visit or call (510) 608-3203.

Other Local Organizations That Can Help
Contact the following organizations for more information:
* Tri-City Health Center - 39500 Liberty Street, Fremont, CA 94538
Call: (510) 770-8133 or visit:
* India Community Center - 525 Los Coches Street, Milpitas, CA 95035
Call: (408) 934-1130 or visit:
* Tiburcio Vasquez Health Center - 33255 9th Street, Union City, CA 94587-
Ca;; (510) 471-5880 or visit:

Free Health Insurance Coverage Seminars will take place on the following 2010 dates:

Wednesday, June 9
10 a.m. to Noon
2500 Mowry Avenue, (Washington West) Fremont
Conrad E. Anderson Auditorium, Room C

Thursday, August 5
10 a.m. to Noon
2500 Mowry Avenue, (Washington West) Fremont
Conrad E. Anderson Auditorium, Room C

Do You Need Your Health Insurance Questions Answered?
Thursday, October 14
10 a.m. to Noon
2500 Mowry Avenue, (Washington West) Fremont
Conrad E. Anderson Auditorium, Room C

Register online at or call Washington Hospital's Health Connection line at (800) 963-7070.

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