Obamacare discussed at NORC gathering

Getting the facts: Sonia DeVan, a senior community and program development specialist, explained the Affordable Care Act to members of the Rhawnhurst Naturally Occurring Retirement Community last month. MARIA POUCHNIKOVA / TIMES PHOTO

Sonia DeVan, of Gateway Helps, recently had the challenging task of explaining the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, to members of the Rhawnhurst Naturally Occurring Retirement Community.

The law has been in place since March 2010. It is intended to allow families and small business owners who buy their own health coverage to, starting in 2014, shop for affordable private health insurance through the Affordable Insurance Exchange.

Enrollment started on Oct. 1 and will run through March.

By Jan. 1, 2015, physician reimbursements will be tied to the quality of care they provide.

DeVan, a senior community and program development specialist, explained that the law is complicated, considering it is more than 1,000 pages.

“People either really love this thing or really hate this thing,” she said.

DeVan identified herself as a “messenger,” jokingly asking the guests not to throw their cardboard lunch boxes at her.

The guests engaged in a spirited debate about hospital discharges, whether it’s better to get additional care or to go home to avoid getting any hospital infections.

For more information, call toll-free 1–877-GATEWAY.

Karen Gurmankin, an aide to U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, encouraged constituents to visit her office at 7712 Castor Ave. or call 215–335–3355.

In other news from the Sept. 25 meeting:

• Rhawnhurst NORC, at 7520 Bustleton Ave., will host a caregiver support group meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 30, from noon to 1:30 p.m.

Call Virginia Harr at 215–426–8610, Ext. 207 or Abby Gilbert at 215–320–0351.

• Rides are available for people 60 and older for medical appointments, trips to the grocery store, important errands and to attend a class, group or program.

People in ZIP codes 19111, 19149 and 19152 can call Rhawnhurst NORC at 215–320–0351, Ext. 4. Residents of ZIP codes 19114, 19115 and 19116 can call Jewish Information and Referral Services at 215–832–0821.

• A registered nurse from the Immaculate Mary Home offered blood pressure testing for guests. ••