Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

Smart Talk: Year 2 of insurance marketplace; PSEA says education important to voters

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Nov 5, 2014 4:14 PM
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What to look for on Smart Talk Thursday, November 6, 2014:

The roll-out of the health insurance exchanges as part of the Affordable Care Act last year was not without its problems.

In fact, the first few weeks were disastrous with website glitches and other issues, including confusion.

Improvements were made and eventually 7.3 million people signed up for health insurance.

In many cases, so-called navigators helped Americans obtain insurance.

The open enrollment period for the second year of the health insurance marketplaces opens a week from Saturday -- November 15 -- and runs until February 15 of next year.  Navigators will once again have a role to play.

On Thursday's Smart Talk, two organizations that help navigate the Marketplace will appear to explain what's new and different if anything and to answer questions about obtaining insurance.

Joining us are Lynn Keltz, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Mental Health Consumers Association and Sue Walther, Executive Director, Mental Health Association in Pennsylvania. If you have questions about navigating the health insurance marketplace call 1-855-274-5626 (toll free) to make an appointments or speak with a navigator.

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Listeners may also wish to consult the Getting Covered Guide on Transforming Health, which is a multimedia project of WITF that focuses on health care changes in America. The Getting Covered Guide contains the latest information on the Affordable Care Act and Healthy Pennsylvania. 

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Click on the image to access the Getting Covered Guide

Also, exit polls during Tuesday's election showed many voters who supported Democrat Tom Wolf over incumbent Gov. Tom Corbett cited education and funding for schools as their main concerns.

The Pennsylvania State Education Association -- the state's largest teacher's union -- has expressed satisfaction that education was so important to voters.  PSEA President Mike Crossey appears on Smart Talk to discuss the election.

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  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-11-06 09:23

    Laura Emails


    My employer offers health insurance, however they are considered "grandfathered" and do not need to comply with the ACA. Is it true that in this situation I am able to look at the marketplace for a more complete and affordable plan? Also do you have advice for where I can find more info about this unique situation.

    Thank you,

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-11-06 09:35

    Kim Tabor Emails

    I have a high-deductible Health Savings Blue PPO plan. I do not understand how the copays work. In other words, when I visit the doctor, will I pay a copay only, or must I first meet my annual deductible, paying the full amount of the visit, and then after the deductible is met, then I will only pay the copay for a visit?

    If I call a navigator, will he or she help me with such questions?

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-11-06 09:54

    A listener emails

    What is the position of the educators association about English as second language programs? Across the state immigrant children receive second class education with the label of ESL, how will these programs be reformed to ensure integration and quality for non English speakers and language learners?