There’s still time to sign up for health insurance coverage

Staff Reports • Updated Mar 5, 2014 at 11:11 AM

For those who remain uninsured, there’s still time to sign up for health insurance on the Health Insurance Marketplace and avoid a penalty.

The Affordable Care Act requires most Americans get health insurance by 2014 or pay a tax penalty. The penalty will be applied to annual taxable incomes for each month without health insurance after March 31, the last day to enroll.

Based on household income and dependents, some people may be eligible for health insurance coverage at no cost through Medicaid. Others may be eligible for new health insurance on the Health Insurance Marketplace, and financial help from the government toward the cost of premiums may be available.

“This is where University Medical Center can help the uninsured in our community,” said Patrick Farmer, hospital patient access director. “With many people lacking access to a computer or just need help maneuvering through the enrollment website, our application counselors can help. We can assist individuals and their families evaluate the available health plans and determine if they’re eligible for Medicaid or other insurance options.”

To make an appointment for sign-up help, call 615-453-8093.

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 available health benefits include preventive care and wellness services, doctor visits, prescription drugs, hospital and emergency department care, lab services, pediatric services and more.

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

University Medical Center is a 245-bed, two-campus acute health care facility with more than 230 physicians on staff. The Lebanon hospital is fully accredited by the state of Tennessee, as well as the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. It is the seventh largest hospital in Middle Tennessee. University Medical Center has 800 full- and part-time employees and is the sole provider of health care service in Wilson County.

For more information, call 615-444-8262 or visit universitymedicalcenter.com.

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