Chamber to host series on health care act

ALPENA – There are a lot of questions and concerns attached to President Barack Obama’s health care plan, which is why the Alpena Area Chamber of Commerce is hosting a series of five forums from April 10 until June 5 where health and business professionals will explain the new law and the impacts it will have on all.

Executive Director Jackie Krawczak said the chamber decided to hold the events because many store owners are concerned about what the Affordable Care Act law will do to their businesses.

“What we have noticed is everyone is aware of the law, but people have either decided to dig deep into it to see what it means to their businesses or shut themselves off from it,” Krawczak said. “It is such a huge and overwhelming piece of legislation that it is difficult to know what it means for your business. Plus it is changing every day. That is why we decided to do the five part series.”

Krawczak said each of the sessions will cover a different topic of the law and will be explained by professional who know the ins and outs of the act. She said the first session will feature attorney Mindi Johnson, who will talk about what it means for businesses and what the penalties are if you don’t do what your supposed to .

The second session will feature a panel of agents and an insurance provider who will talk about what local agents can expect from the health care plan and in turn what people can expect from them because of this legislation.

Health care provider and pharmacists will talk about how they will be impacted by the law in the third seminar and the fourth will address how the government will enforce the law and what the cost of enforcement will be. Krawczak said the final session will be an overall summary of what was addressed in the previous meetings and also provide a chance to explain any new developments with the law.

Krawczak said the local business community has questions about what is in store once the law is fully implemented and the five sessions will prove details they need to create a business strategy to coincide with the new law.

“I would say the business owners are hungry for information. I wouldn’t say they are excited about this,” Krawczak said. “At this point people don’t even really know what questions to ask. Even the agents don’t really know what is going on or what is going to happen. This is really scary because this is so big. It is a huge piece of legislation and it affects so many people in such a variety of ways that if you don’t have the time to dig deep into it on your own it is overwhelming and that is why we thought it is important to do this.”

The April 10 and 24 sessions will be held at the Alpena Community College from 8-10 a.m. Session three’s location will be announced before the May 8 event. The May 22 and June 5 sessions also will be at ACC at the same time.

For more information call the Alpena Area Chamber of Commerce at 354-4181.

Steve Schulwitz can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5689. Follow Steve on Twitter ss_alpenanews. Read his blog, Upon Further Review … at