Last updated: October 02. 2013 4:38PM - 832 Views

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Beginning October 1, Commonwealth Health began assisting residents in Luzerne, Lackawanna, Colombia and Wyoming Counties enroll in new affordable health insurance options.

As part of the Affordable Care Act, beginning January 1, 2014, most U.S. citizens are required to have health insurance. As a primary health provider in Northeastern Pennsylvania, Commonwealth Health will help educate consumers in an easy-to-understand way, as well as help those who need it sign up for insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace, Medicaid and/or assistance with their premiums for medical coverage.

Health Insurance Marketplaces

Health Insurance Marketplaces will provide U.S. citizens access to affordable health insurance coverage. Depending on household income, some individuals may qualify for financial assistance – or subsidies – towards the cost of the premium.

All Marketplace plans offer the same set of comprehensive benefits. The best news is, individuals can no longer be denied coverage because of a pre-existing health condition. Some essential health benefits include:

· Preventive care and wellness services

· Doctor visits

· Prescription drugs

· Hospital and Emergency Department care

· Lab services

· Chronic disease management

· Pediatric services

Medicaid Expansion

While Pennsylvania has chosen not to expand Medicaid, government subsidies to help citizens obtain coverage from the Health Insurance Marketplace are available, depending on income and other qualifications. Many residents already qualify for Medicaid even though our state is not expanding Medicaid coverage, but they must enroll. In Pennsylvania, they can enroll at any time and coverage can start immediately.

Some of Commonwealth Health’s efforts will include:

· Beginning Oct. 1, consumers can make an appointment with our trained staff that can help navigate and sign up for affordable health insurance. We’ll also have translators available for those who don’t speak English.

· We will have informational panel cards throughout our facility, in our clinics and around the community explaining our hospital’s role with enrollment, as well as the phone number to call to set up an appointment.

· We will host a Senior Circle/Healthy woman member’s-only speaking engagement, as well as a speaking engagement open to the community to explain the new insurance options.

· Key staff will be available to speak to community groups to explain the new health insurance options.

· Our website will have special banners with information for consumers.

· Information will be inserted into self-pay and uninsured billing statements.

While many changes are occurring in healthcare, our commitment to providing quality care remains constant. We are committed not only to supporting our community’s health needs, but also to educating and informing the people we serve.

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