Archived Story

Free health care counseling available

Published 9:26pm Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Affordable Care Act still has some Beaufort County residents scratching their heads, but help is available.
Several federally funded health care centers offer free counseling to anyone who needs it. The organizations receive grants, enhanced reimbursements and other benefits.
Claudia Stokes, outreach and enrollment coordinator at Metropolitan Regional Health Services, said she has faced several challenges when counseling and signing people up for healthcare.
She listed  major issues she has had in Beaufort County since opening Oct. 1.
“Basically, I think the lack of knowledge and the barriers as far as not understanding the concept of the new law,” Stokes explained. “And the glitches in the system. You don’t want me to get started on that.”
Certified counselors take applications six days a week. They recently added Saturdays to their schedules at Metropolitan AME Zion Church.
Stokes said those who are interested in the service could schedule an appointment, but walk-ins are also welcome.
The deadline to enroll is March 31. In order to have services assessed, and insurance ready by Jan. 1, Stokes recommended coming in by Dec. 23.
For more information, contact Claudia Stokes at 940-0602, 252-702-8337 or email

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