Hospitals to offer insurance education

Published 12:02 am Sunday, November 9, 2014

NATCHEZ — Natchez’s hospitals will host an educational event next week to help residents learn about health insurance options on the Health Insurance Marketplace.

The Affordable Care Act requires most U.S. citizens to have health insurance this year. While the first enrollment period for the Marketplace — from October 2013 to March 2014 — saw 10 million people sign up for a marketplace plan, an estimated 30 million Americans are still uninsured.

Natchez Regional and Natchez Community hospitals — which are now operated by the same owner — will have an education session 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the Magnolia classroom at Natchez Regional Medical Center.

Email newsletter signup

“As a primary health provider in Adams County, 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 Eric Robinson CEO of Natchez Community Hospital and Natchez Regional Medical Center.

“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 toward 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 and pediatric services, among other requirements.

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 Mississippi has chosen not to expand Medicaid, there are still many individuals in our community who qualify for Medicaid coverage,” Robinson said.

“We have eligibility specialists who can help screen hospital patients, and they will also be on hand at our community events.”

Though a major function of is assessing whether individuals and families qualify for financial help to lower the cost of health insurance, Natchez Community Hospital and Natchez Regional Medical Center application counselors can perform the same analysis and help with the sign-up process.

To make an appointment to meet with an application counselor, call 601-445-6211.