It's time to explore health coverage options

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By Jon D. Applebaum, CEO of Twin County Regional Healthcare

The launch of the new Health Insurance Marketplace triggered several months of discouraging reports highlighting the glitches and technical problems associated with its website, Healthcare.gov.
Initially, these issues and the associated media coverage of the problem delayed and deterred many people from exploring their opportunities for healthcare coverage.
Today, however, the story has changed. Healthcare.gov is working well and has helped more than three million Americans — including people in this community — sign up for health insurance coverage.  
More than 50 million Americans who were previously uninsured now have increased access to affordable healthcare coverage this year, and Twin County Regional Healthcare wants to ensure that uninsured people in our community understand the marketplace and feel confident in exploring new options for coverage.
The Health Insurance Marketplace allows all Americans to simply compare, view and purchase health insurance. The marketplace offers coverage options at a variety of affordable and competitive price points.
With one application, you can explore the plans available in our state and find out if you qualify for newly available government subsidies to help offset the expense of health insurance.
Many people who apply will qualify for some kind of savings on their monthly premiums, and some will also qualify for savings on out-of-pocket costs.
For those shopping for insurance through the marketplace, all participating health plans offer the same essential health benefits including doctor’s visits, prescriptions, hospitalizations and pregnancy care. You’ll also receive free preventive care, such as vaccines, screenings and checkups.
Some plans offer other benefits like vision, dental or medical management programs for a specific disease or condition. You’ll even get coverage for pre-existing health conditions that may have kept you from receiving coverage in the past.
If you are interested in exploring your new health coverage options through the marketplace this year, you must enroll by March 31, 2014.  If you miss this enrollment deadline, you will not be able to apply for coverage again until the next enrollment period opens this fall.
At Twin County Regional Healthcare, we are dedicated to enhancing healthcare in our community. We know that healthcare reform and the Health Insurance Marketplace can be confusing and overwhelming, and we are here to help you understand and navigate this changing landscape.
We have staff at Twin County Regional Hospital to assist with the enrollment process. Our certified application counselor can help you explore coverage options, complete a Marketplace application and determine in which plans your local healthcare providers are included.

You may call 1-888-982-9144 to make an appointment, or to discuss enrollment over the phone.  You also can send any questions to TwinCounty.CAC@LPNT.net. For more information, you can also visit www.tcrh.org or www.healthcare.gov.