Beginning Nov. 15, Harton Regional Medical Center will 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 now required to have health insurance. 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 Coffee and surrounding counties, we want to help educate residents 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 Russ Spray CEO of HRMC. “During the next few months, we’ll be going out in the community to educate consumers, hosting in-hospital events, and meeting one-on-one to help these individuals find affordable coverage for themselves and their family.”

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 from the government – or subsidies – towards the cost of the premium.

All health plans on the Marketplace must offer a comprehensive set of benefits, and individuals cannot be denied coverage based on a pre-existing condition. Some of the health benefits include preventive care and wellness services, doctor visits, prescription drugs, hospital and emergency department care, lab services, pediatric services – and more.

Those who can afford health insurance coverage in 2015 but don’t sign up may have to pay a penalty ($325 per adult, $162.50 per child – up to $975/family or 2% of family income, whichever is higher). And, without insurance, they will be financially responsible for all of your medical costs.

“This is where Harton Regional can help,” said Spray. “With many people in our community lacking access to a computer or having difficulty enrolling on the government’s website, our application counselors can help. We can assist individuals and their families evaluate the health plan options and determine if they are eligible for Medicaid or other financial assistance.”

In all states, Medicaid provides health coverage for some low-income people, families and children, pregnant women, the elderly, and people with disabilities. In some states, the program covers all low-income adults below a certain income level.

“Even though Tennessee has chosen not to expand Medicaid, there are still many individuals in our community who qualify for Medicaid coverage,” explained Spray. We can help screen these individuals and if they qualify, we can enroll them at any time, with health coverage beginning immediately.”

To make an appointment to meet with an application counselor, call 931-393-7826.

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