Local Non-Profits Offer Free Health Insurance Literacy & Budgeting Classes

November 25, 2014


ASHEVILLE, NC—Two local non-profits, OnTrack WNC Financial Education and Consulting and the Western Carolina Medical Society (WCMS) are teaming up to offer a FREE two- part series on health insurance basics and budgeting for health care costs. The next two-part series is scheduled for December 1st & 3rd from 5:30p.m. – 7:00p.m.  It will take place in the downstairs conference room at the United Way Building at 50 S. French Broad Ave., Asheville. Participants are recommended to attend both of the sessions, as health literacy will be covered on the first day, and budgeting for health care costs will be covered on the second day. Please call OnTrack WNC at 828-255-5166 to register for the class.

This interactive course is designed to support all newly insured customers who have enrolled in the Health Insurance Marketplace since it opened in the fall of 2013. Many are owners of health insurance for the first time and left with confusion about how insurance works and how to budget for healthcare costs. Participant of the class, Abby Bates said, “I recommend the class highly…it helped me learn a lot of terms I didn’t know about and the importance of budgeting—setting aside money every month for healthcare needs. Even people with insurance through employers should go. I recommend it for everyone.”

Miriam Schwarz, CEO of WCMS, notes “We are hearing from some of our physician practices that newly insured consumers are having difficulty managing their out-of-pocket financial responsibilities. One of the biggest challenges for practices is dealing with the premium ‘3 month grace period’ that allows health plans to suspend claims payments to the practice in the 2nd and 3rd months if premiums aren’t paid by the consumer. For the ACA’s health insurance marketplace to be effective, it is critical that consumers understand their financial obligations right out of the gate and before they begin using their new insurance plan. We are thrilled be collaborating in this ground-breaking FREE educational initiative with On Track Financial Education and Consulting Services.”

Participants in the course will have the opportunity ask questions about their health insurance and budgets. They will learn key health insurance terms, how to use their health insurance to get the best health outcomes in a cost-effective manner with increased satisfaction, and how to create a realistic budget for healthcare costs.

Celeste Collins, OnTrack WNC Executive Director, comments “The access to health insurance provided through the Affordable Care Act has budget implications for consumers as they figure out the costs they’ll need to incorporate into their spending plan.  We are excited to be partnering to offer this critical series knowing that it will help the newly insured better utilize their insurance and have the budget in place to afford medical costs.”

WCMS Health Access Team