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Church hosts health care forum

COVINGTON — When senior citizens attending East Newton Baptist Church raised questions about how the Affordable Health Care Act affects them, church leaders decided they’d find answers.

The result is a forum on health care changes that is open to the entire community. The event is at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday in the church sanctuary, located at 11290 U.S. Highway 278 East in Covington. Guest speakers are Dr. Kevin Smith, vice president of operations for the Georgia Baptist Convention, and Danny Watters, who handles minister relations for the convention. The men have researched and advised Georgia Southern Baptist Convention employees on health care changes and will share what they’ve learned at the free forum, said East Newton Senior Pastor Tom Lee.

“It is open to the entire community and it is not a political rally at all … Whether you’re 22 or 80, hopefully this will be information that will help people,” Lee said.

The speakers will take questions, and Lee suggested emailing those in advance to enbc@bellsouth.net. While the event is open to all ages, the speakers will in part focus on impact to seniors.

Lee said he’s noticed a push for supplemental plans for seniors by insurance companies.

“People are confused whether they already have it or don’t have it, is what I have enough or do I need to have something more,” he said.

Part-time workers also need to find out if their company will provide health care coverage next year, he said.

Lee said the goal is to help people understand their personal responsibilities under the Affordable Health Care Act and “to help people begin to think through this process.” He said politicians were not invited to the forum to keep it informative versus political and there will be no endorsement of specific insurance providers. Attendees cannot sign up for health insurance at the forum, he said.

“Regardless of what political side you want to stand on, it is the law right now and until something changes, we need to be prepared,” Lee said.

For more information, contact the church at 770-786-6627.