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Aspects of new healthcare law to be explained at OP Chamber event Topics covered include who is eligible for open enrollment; benefit choices

OCEAN PINES—Love it or hate,
Obamacare is scheduled to go nationwide next year and the first leg starts in
October. Taking no sides, Lynne McAllorum, an
independent insurance agent, will present "The Maryland Health
Insurance Exchange: What you need to Know," sponsored by the Ocean Pines
Chamber of Commerce on Sept. 5.

McAllorum, owner
of Baby Boomer Insurance of Maryland, pointed out that open
enrollment for individuals begins Oct. 1 and open enrollment for
small businesses begins Jan. 1, 2014. The law, officially known as the
Affordable Care Act, defines small business as one with 2-50 employees.

The presentation will be
held at the Ocean Pines Community Center at 239 Ocean Parkway in the Assateague
Room, from 12:30-2:30 p.m. It is open to the public and the
cost is $5 for members and $8 for non- members.

McAllorum has completed
training for insurance producers that was conducted by the Maryland Health
Connection (the Exchange). In September, the state will authorize
those individuals to help consumers find appropriate health care coverage
within the Exchange, according to McAllorum.

Her presentation will in
part draw from experience gained from working with existing laws and rules to
find the best situation for her clients. One benefit of using an authorized
agent would be having the assistance of a professional who understands the
language regarding the benefits and forms process, she said. Nevertheless, individuals
will have the option of either enrolling directly with the Exchange or through
an authorized producer/agent.

“The cost will be the same
either way,” she said.

“My goal is to educate at the meeting,” said
McAllorum, who will be making the presentation as an independent agent, not as
a representative of the state, she said. During the 30-45 minute presentation,
she will take questions and begin explaining requirements and how the new law
will work in real-life situations.

“I’ve done this for a long
time and I just want to put it in easily understandable language,” she said.

McAllorum said it was important to note
that under the new healthcare law no one can be declined coverage for
pre-existing health conditions or based on their height and weight. “Starting
Oct. 1 no one will be asked medical questions,” if they go through the Exchange
that begins for an effective date of Jan. 1, 2014, she said. The age and geographic
region of covered individuals will be factors, she noted.

Topics covered during the presentation will
include who is eligible for open enrollment; benefit choices; and how premiums and
subsidies will be determined—including the self-employed. It will include
information about the choices that will be available and who may qualify for a subsidy.

McAllorum said in the local geographic
area there may be people, such as seasonal workers or lower income workers, who
might not be eligible for Medicaid but would qualify for subsidized coverage.
She said she will also list the monetary penalties the law will impose for not
having coverage.

McAllorum, will also discuss the small
business open enrollment period that will begin Jan. 1, 2014, she said.

According to
her biography McAllorum began her insurance career at Carefirst/Blue

Cross and Blue Shield
more than 30 years ago and has had her own business for 26 years. She
has extensive experience in health insurance working with groups and individuals.
Baby Boomer Insurance is a division of Broker Benefit Services.

For more information or
to make a reservation contact Liz Kain-Bolen at 410-641-5306 or by e-mail at