Get healthcare answers at seminar

Published 12:01 am Monday, November 10, 2014

Beginning in 2014, U.S. citizens were required to have health insurance through the Affordable Care Act with few exceptions. During the first enrollment wave, which began October 2013 and ended in March 2014, nearly 10 million uninsured individuals enrolled in a Health Insurance Marketplace plan. Yet, approximately 30 million Americans remain uninsured.

As a key health provider in the Miss-Lou, Natchez Community Hospital and Natchez Regional Medical Center will be reaching out and providing education to community members at a free seminar at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the magnolia classroom at Natchez Regional. This seminar is timely, as the second insurance enrollment wave begins Nov. 15 to Feb. 15.

The Health Insurance Marketplace is a relatively new way to shop for and purchase health insurance, with options that are affordable to meet a family’s needs. Depending on household income, some individuals may be eligible for financial assistance — or subsidies — towards the cost of the premium.

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All Marketplace plans offer the same set of comprehensive benefits — and individuals cannot be denied coverage because of a pre-existing health condition. Some of the essential health benefits include preventive care and wellness services; doctor visits; prescription drugs; hospital and emergency department care; lab services; chronic disease management and pediatric services.

If a person can afford health insurance coverage in 2015, but doesn’t sign up, there will be 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.

Please join us on Thursday as we host our first community wide educational event beginning at 5:30 p.m. in the magnolia classroom at NRMC. We will have a panel of certified application counselors, or certified assisters, to explain what the marketplace is and answer your questions.

While changes continue in healthcare, our commitment to providing quality care remains constant. At your local hospitals, we are committed not only to supporting the community’s health needs, but also to educating and informing the people we serve. I look forward to seeing and talking with you on Thursday evening.


Melanie Griffith is the financial counselor and certified application counselor at Natchez Community Hospital.