What began on Nov. 15 will last until Feb 15 as Weatherford Regional Medical Center (WRMC) help area residents learn about and enroll in health insurance options on the Health Insurance Marketplace.
As part of the Affordable Care Act, most U.S. citizens are required to have health insurance beginning in 2014.
During the first enrollment wave which began last October and ended in March, nearly 10 million uninsured individuals enrolled in a Marketplace plan. Yet, approximately 30 million Americans remain uninsured.
“As a primary health provider in Parker County, we want to help educate in an easy to understand way, as well as assist those who haven’t yet signed up for health insurance or Medicaid, if qualified,” said David Orcutt, CEO of WRMC
Health Insurance Marketplaces
The Health Insurance Marketplace provides U.S. citizens access to affordable health insurance coverage. Depending on household income, some individuals may qualify for financial assistance – or subsidies – towards the cost of the premium.
All Marketplace plans offer the same set of comprehensive benefits – and individuals can’t be denied coverage because of a preexisting health condition. Some essential health benefits include:
• Preventive care and wellness services
• Doctor visits
• Prescription drugs
• Hospital and Emergency Department care
• Lab services
• Chronic disease management
• Pediatric services
If individuals can afford health insurance coverage in 2015, but don’t sign up, they may have to pay a penalty ($325 per adult, $162.50 per child – up to $975/family or 2 percent of family income, whichever is higher). And, without insurance, they’ll be financially responsible for all of their medical costs.
While Texas has chosen not to expand Medicaid, government subsidies to help citizens obtain coverage from the Health Insurance Marketplace are available, depending on income and other qualifications. Many residents already qualify for Medicaid even though our state is not expanding Medicaid coverage, but they must enroll. In Texas, enrollment can occur any time during the year and coverage starts immediately.A few of WRMC’s efforts will include:
Beginning now, consumers can make an appointment with WRMC’s trained staff who can help them navigate the Marketplace and find affordable health insurance that fits their needs. They also have translators available for those who don’t speak English. They will have informational panel cards throughout the facility, in their clinics and around the community explaining how WRMC can help with enrollment, as well as the phone number to call to set up an appointment.
They will host numerous speaking engagements, both inside and outside the hospital, to explain the insurance options, as well as how they can help with enrollment.
Their website will have special banners with information for consumers. Information will be inserted into self pay and uninsured billing statements. While changes continue in healthcare, WRMC’s “commitment to providing quality care remains constant. We’re committed not only to supporting our community’s health needs, but also to educating and informing the people we serve.”
About Weatherford Regional Medical Center
Weatherford Regional Medical Center is a 99 all private bed hospital and network of medical clinics serving Parker County. A dedicated and experienced medical staff offer over 30 medical specialties and services ranging from comprehensive imaging, interventional cardiology, a 24 hour emergency department, labor and delivery suites, and much more.
The hospital has received numerous awards and recognition, including the Press Ganey Summit Award and The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval. For more information, call 682-582-1000 or visit www.weatherfordregional.com.