Unity Wellness Center awarded “Healthy Connections” grant

AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - It's a grant aimed at improving the health of underserved women in rural Alabama.

The Office of Women's Health has awarded the AIDS Coalition of Huntsville with a grant focused on helping individuals take advantage of health care insurance coverage opportunities through the Federal Insurance Marketplace.

"We're hoping to get as many women enrolled as possible. It's just vital to their well being, their children's well being, because if they have insurance they can go and access preventative services," explains Marilyn Swyers, Executive Director of the Unity Wellness Center.

This one year, $54,000, grant has allowed a partnership with the Unity Wellness Center in Auburn to hire an Affordable Care Act Navigator to assist women and their families in the five counties of east Alabama through the enrollment process.

"We help individuals who don't have health insurance, who have preexisting conditions. We try to help them get coverage under Blue Cross, Blue Shield of Alabama," says ACA Navigator, Lakila Ware.

Ware is available to assist people in Lee, Chambers, Macon, Tallapoosa and Russell Counties regardless of their HIV status.

"We have helped a lot of individuals that have any type of preexisting conditions like HIV Aids. I actually have a lot of cancer patients, people who have high risk diabetes. I pretty much help anybody," explains Ware.

A special enrollment period is currently open for qualifying life events such as losing a job, recent divorce, death of an insured party, and the birth of a child.

This special enrollment period would allow qualified applicants to be eligible to receive coverage beginning as soon as January 1, 2015.

Open enrollment will begin November 15, 2014, and continue through February 15, 2015.

For assistance in this process you can contact Lakila Ware at 334-734-4141.

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