Health Exchange Marketplace Open for Ocean County

Posted on September 13, 2013 By

OHI (Ocean Health Initiatives), a federally qualified health care center, with locations in Lakewood, Toms River, and Manahawkin, has established a Health Exchange Marketplace Department to assist the public in understanding information about affordable health insurance coverage in advance of the Affordable Care Act, which begins on January 1, 2014.

The department is now made up of Beatriz C. Patino, Brick, the coordinator of the Health Exchange Marketplace, and Carmen E. Lopez, Neptune City, an associate, who will also answer questions and explain any changes. Additionally, they will help individuals sign up for health insurances during the open enrollment period, October through March, and determine what plans would be best for individual situations.

Both Patino and Lopez, who are bilingual, can be reached in the Health Exchange Marketplace Department, Lakewood, at 732-363-6655. They will also assist the public at Toms River and Manahawkin sites, and will be available at many outreach events.

Patino has served as a community health worker in the Central Jersey Health Consortium, Lakewood and North Brunswick. There she performed community outreach for such groups as the VNA, WIC, Women’s Wellness Centers, hospital clinics, OBGYN offices, and several resource centers. Patino earned a B.A. in political science from Kean University in 2005 and anticipates earning her Masters of Social Work Clinical Practice with Families and Children in 2016 from Kean University.

Lopez, a certified medical assistant (CMA), has had wide experience in a multi-physician medical practice and in hospital settings. Before joining the Health Exchange Marketplace, Lopez worked as a CMA at Loyal Source Government Services, Fort McGuire Air Force Base, and at the N.J. Urological Institute, formerly Shore Urology, Eatontown.

About Ocean Health Initiatives
OHI is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) federally qualified health center (FQHC) with locations at 101 Second Street, Lakewood; and 301 Lakehurst Road, Toms River; and 333 Haywood Road, Manahawkin; and in the Clifton Avenue Elementary School, 625 Clifton Avenue, Lakewood; and the Mobile Medical Unit outside the George J. Mitchell Elementary School, 950 N. Green Street, Little Egg Harbor.

OHI provides comprehensive preventative and primary health and dental care to Ocean County uninsured and underinsured populations on a sliding-fee scale, based on an individual’s or family’s ability to pay. Services include pediatrics, maternal and child health, prenatal, WIC, universal immunizations behavioral health, dental, family medicine, internal medicine, OB/GYN, podiatry and social services.

OHI has a bilingual staff available to assist patients and callers. To become a patient of OHI, call a representative in the Call Center at either 732-552-0377, Toms River, or 732-363-6655, Lakewood. Visit for further information.