Last updated: March 04. 2014 9:51AM - 712 Views
Martha Sparks msparks@civitasmedia.com

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As a result of the Affordable Care Act, nearly 50 million Americans who were previously uninsured have access to affordable healthcare coverage through Health Insurance Marketplaces this year. Logan Regional Medical Center wants to remind those that haven’t signed up for new coverage that the opportunity to do so is quickly coming to a close. The deadline to sign up for coverage in 2014 is Mon., March 31.

“We encourage everyone who has not yet explored their coverage options to do so soon,” John E. Walker, CEO of Logan Regional Medical Center, said. “It is critical that you sign up by March 31 to ensure healthcare coverage in 2014. And if you do not have health insurance by March 31, you may have to pay a fee.”

Health Insurance Marketplaces allow people to view, compare and purchase various health insurance products. Each plan is different, so it is important to compare plans to see which best fits your needs. With one application, you can explore the plans available in West Virginia and find out if you qualify for newly available government subsidies to help offset the expense of health insurance. It will also alert you if you qualify for other coverage programs, like Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

More good news is that West Virginia has opted to expand its Medicaid program, meaning it has raised the income level for Medicaid eligibility in order to include more people. People who qualify for Medicaid coverage can enroll in this program year- round.

In West Virginia, the marketplace is located online at:

www.loganregionalmedicalcenter.com or www.healthcare.gov

All plans cover the same basic health services, including visits to the doctor, hospitalizations, maternity care, prescriptions, pediatric services, preventive and wellness services and more. In addition, insurance plans cannot deny you coverage or charge you more due to pre-existing health conditions.

One concerning rumor keeping many from exploring their coverage options is that premiums and co-pays are very expensive. The Marketplaces offer coverage options at a variety of price points. Most people who are under the age of 65, and are not eligible for coverage through their employer, Medicaid or Medicare, will qualify for subsidies to offset the expense of their monthly premiums.

Walker said not to let rumors or misinformation prevent you from exploring your health insurance opportunities. There is more assistance for families who need help covering the costs of insurance than many realize.

“At Logan Regional Medical Center we are dedicated to making our community healthier,” Walker said. “We know that healthcare reform and the Health Insurance Marketplaces can be confusing and overwhelming. We are here to support you in exploring your coverage options, completing a Marketplace application and determining in which plans your local healthcare providers are included.”

Those needing assistance can contact Logan Regional Medical Center in several different ways:

• Call 1-888-982-91 44 and speak to a Certified Application Counselor over the phone or make an appointment for an in-person visit.

• Visit LRMC. Appointments are available Monday-Friday during normal business hours, and by appointment after hours and on Saturdays.

• Send an email at loganregional.CAC@lpnt.net. They can schedule an appointment or answer your questions.

• Visit www.loganregionalmedicalcenter.com where you can easily access helpful information, including a check list of the documents you will need to enroll for insurance

“Contact Logan Regional Medical Center today,” Walker said. “We are here to help you get started on finding healthcare coverage for you and your family.”

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