RALEIGH, N.C. -- Less than one month, 22 days to be exact, until the open enrollment period begins.
The average North Carolinian likely doesn't even know what that really means, which is why dozens of community leaders met Monday in Raleigh to discuss the biggest hurdle the Affordable Care Act is facing to date: lack of, or misinformation among the people the law affects most.
Which is why Blue Cross Blue Shield, Novant Health and other corporations are launching a community forum effort across the state. The focus will be on informing the minority communities about the Affordable Care Act.
Here in North Carolina, an astounding 23-percent of African Americans are uninsured.
The goal is educating community leaders who can take that information back to their neighborhoods, giving the people the tools to understand how it affects them, how to obtain insurance and what happens if you don't.
“It is great for the community, great for the families. The more you know about it, the more advantageous it will be,” says Reverend Ervin Baker of Friendship Missionary Baptist Church.
“If you do not purchase insurance, there will for 2014 be a $95 tax penalty or 1-percent of your income, whichever is greater,” explained Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Erik Pollack.
So far, there are 60 forums set up across the state set to kick off in October
Several of those are in Charlotte.
You'll also see leaflet newspapers around town with information featuring health care term glossary, key information and dates you need to know.