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Robert Crowe

Dec. 17, 2013
esd & associates
Office: 210-348-8008

Affordable Care Act Discussion Available via Video

Public can watch online to learn how to enroll in the federal Health Insurance Marketplace as
Dec. 23 is the deadline to sign up for coverage beginning on Jan. 1

San Antonio In an effort to dispel myths about the federal Health Insurance Marketplace in San
Antonio, Community First Health Plans teamed up with the UTSA Policy Studies Center to
sponsor the Affordable Care Fair on Dec. 7 at UTSAs Downtown Campus.

The event featured a panel discussion moderated by Dean Rogelio Saenz of the UTSA College of
Public Policy. Speakers included District 5 City Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales, Community First
Health Plans President and CEO Greg Gieseman, CommuniCare Health Centers Chief Revenue
Officer Quiara Sherrard and Jose Ibarra of Enroll America.

A video archive of the policy discussion is available on YouTube and Speakers
discuss the basics of the enrollment process and how our community can benefit from the
Affordable Care Act. San Antonio is among cities with the highest rates of uninsured Texans.

Despite the Affordable Care Act becoming law, theres been many efforts to do away with, to
scrap, to delay, to change and to modify it, Saenz said. Despite the problems with the website
and all of the efforts to do away with the ACA or delay it, we know that the ACA is much better
than the system we have in place. For many people in our country, our state and community,
that means not having any health care (coverage) at all.

According to Saenz, the following groups are uninsured in our community:

One out of five San Antonio residents and one of four Latinos living in San Antonio.
38 percent of employed San Antonio residents and 56 percent of unemployed San
Antonio residents.

Those statistics, Saenz said, underscore the immediate need for the Affordable Care Act and
expansion of new healthcare programs across Bexar County.

Gieseman of Community First says that, despite all of the debate and website glitches, many
parts of the ACA have already been implemented.


There are many things that have been done: Expanding coverage to include dependent children
under age 26, or requiring insurers to spend a certain percentage of their premiums on medical
care, Gieseman said. The ACA is a great big thing, and a lot of components have already been

Another important facet of the ACA no delays on healthcare coverage for pre-existing
conditions can make the difference between life and death.

Typically, what has happened in the past is that people with pre-existing conditions might have
to wait a year before they can get coverage for a particular kind of condition, said Sherrard of
CommuniCare. Those conditions are usually serious ones like HIV or cancer. You can actually die
from these things if you dont get the care that you need.

Councilwoman Gonzales said greater access to affordable health insurance will help to empower
families. The adults in our area arent covered; as families we have to support each other, she
said. If the adults are sick or the grandparents are sick, the child is not going to be well,
regardless of how much coverage the child has.

Anyone with questions about the Affordable Care Act Dec. 23 deadline to enroll for Jan. 1
coverage can call 1-888-323-7407 or visit

About Community First Health Plans
CFHP was established in 1995 by the University Health System, specifically to provide health care
coverage to the citizens of Bexar and the surrounding counties. As the only locally owned and
managed, nonprofit health plan in the area, CFHPs commitment to our members is to provide
great health care benefits backed by outstanding service, delivered by people who live right here
in South Texas. Visit for more information.

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