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Getting Access to Healthcare Information

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28)--As republicans and democrats continue to debate the future of the affordable healthcare act, we put politics aside last night to discuss the new health care program and how it will affect Iowans on October 1st during our townhall.

One of the main questions we heard from our viewers following the broadcast was what do you do if you don't have access to the internet?
 
Click a couple of keys, and in this digital age most information you want is at your fingertipsbut not for everyone.

"I had looked at research that UCLA had done and they really had identified the older adult as the digital immigrant, said Myrt Bowers of the Witwer Senior Center.

Immigrants as in using unfamiliar technology.

During our post-town hall phone bank, we found that although there's a website for people to get more details--some people won't be visiting it.

Although using technology is easy stuff for younger generations, seniors didn't grow up with ipads, smart phones, internet explorer or even dial-up.

While the Iowa insurance division has a number that can connect people to a call center and speak with a real person and

"They can actually contact the insurance division and we can provide them with some information that we've developed here. We can send those out to them, said ACA Project Manager, Becky Blum.

They are also now training application counselors, called navigators,

Throughout the state to help walk seniors through an application process--or just give them a general overview.

Something some at the Witwer Senior Center say they might do as well.

"I think for all of us it's probably going to be a major major wow and education is going to be the piece that's going to be important, said Bowers.

October first marks the first day of open enrollment for the affordable care act. That phone number one is  1-800-318-2596.
 
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