TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - As Congressional Republicans work to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, a Toledo program promises to help connect residents to health insurance.
CareNet was created in 2002 by then-Mayor Jack Ford. It is designed to help families that lose their coverage.
CareNet's "navigators" help assess low-income families who do not qualify for Medicaid, Medicare or private health insurance.
Spokesperson Julie Grasson says they saw a big drop off in membership when the Affordable Care Act took effect.
"A large portion of CareNet members at that time then ended up qualified for Medicaid, so we were able to help them with that process," Grasson said.
Funded by local hospitals as well as state and local funds, CareNet says they will still be available for those who lose Medicaid or other benefits.
"For those that are above 100% of the poverty line, they could still qualify for a marketplace plan," Grasson said. "The only drawback is there are no tax credits or relief for those that are below 100 percent."
More than 14,000 people have relied on CareNet since 2002. If they American Health Care Act passes, CareNet expects that number to spike again.
That is why their staff is well-informed on the latest health care laws.
"Right now it's best man's guess as to what's to come," Grasson said. "So once any edits or changes are made, they will all be trained and certified for that."
If you can't get coverage, CareNet has 200 volunteer physicians who can see you on a sliding scale or in some cases free. They can also connect you with assistance.
For more information, visit CareNet's website or dial 211.