Want to be Insured? Here's how:
Still wondering the answer to the question, “What is “Obamacare?” Do you feel as if you don’t understand the Affordable Care Act and what the Health Insurance Marketplace means for you? If you are like me, prior to digging into the information on healthcare reform, you had no idea what these things were or how they might affect you and your family. In this brief post, I hope to clear up some questions for you and give you some general, useful, and down-to-earth information.
Still wondering the answer to the question, “What is “Obamacare?” Do you feel as if you don’t understand the Affordable Care Act and what the Health Insurance Marketplace means for you? If you are like me, prior to digging into the information on healthcare reform, you had no idea what these things were or how they might affect you and your family. In this brief post, I hope to clear some questions up for you and give you some general, useful, and down-to-earth information.
Let’s clear one thing up first: “Obamacare” and the Affordable Care Act are the exact same thing. “Obamacare” is a nickname that has been used to describe President Obama’s ideas for healthcare reform. The Affordable Care Act that was passed into law requires an individual mandate on health insurance beginning Jan. 1, 2014. You might be wondering, what is individual mandate? An individual mandate is a law requiring every person in the United States (with some exemptions) to have health insurance that covers the ten essential health benefits by Jan. 1, 2014. The ten essential health benefits an insurance company must cover are:
1) ambulatory patient services
2) prescription drug coverage
3) emergency services
4) rehabilitation and habilitation services and devices
6) laboratory services
7) maternity and newborn care
8) preventative and wellness services and chronic disease management
9) mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment
10) pediatric services, including oral and vision care
The Health Insurance Marketplace is an online, centralized location to help consumers determine what insurance plans they are eligible for, as well as assist in comparing costs between health insurance plans.
Through the Office of Rural Health Policy, CMH hired five Certified Application Counselors to assist consumers throughout the application process. These Certified Application Counselors will provide one-on-one counseling as well as conduct community outreach programs throughout our service area. CMH’s goal is to help as many people as possible get insured. CMH has a longstanding tradition of being actively involved in the community and providing personalized healthcare. This Certified Application Counselor service is just an extension of that tradition and promise.
It is very important to understand as a consumer there is no obligation to purchase health insurance or work with a CMH certified application counselor when attending a community outreach session or coming in for a one-on-one session with a counselor. During the community outreach sessions, the certified application couselors will conduct a brief presentation about the Affordable Care Act, how it affects you and answer any questions you may have. During a one-on-one counseling session, certified application counselors will help you fill out a Health Insurance Marketplace application. The application will determine what you are eligible for in the Health Insurance Marketplace and help you make an educated decision on the type of health care insurance you’d like to purchase by comparing costs between qualified health plans. The certified application counselors exist to serve as a resource for the communities CMH serves and of course provide a friendly face to help you walk through the application process, just the kind of personalized service CMH is known for.
After reading this, if you are ready to make an appointment for a one-on-one session we would encourage you to do so by calling 417-328-7575. When preparing for your appointment, we ask that you bring the following items with you:
1) social security number and your social security card
2) birth certificate
3) driver’s license or another form of government issued identification
4) proof of income including but not limited to W-2, paystub, or a wage or tax document
These documents are not for CMH use and will not he held or kept by CMH, these documents are used by you when filling out the Health Insurance Marketplace application to determine what qualified health plan you may be eligible for. Eligibility is based on your income and household size. Your private and protected information will not be kept or shared by CMH. After your eligibility for a qualified health plan is determined, you will not be obligated to purchase a plan immediately. We want you to fill out the application and take time to think about your options and choose what is right for you. CMH’s Certified Application Counselors will be here for you throughout the entire application process ensuring that you make a decision that is right for you and your family.
Finally, this is a free service CMH is offering to your community made possible by a grant from the Office of Rural Health Policy. There is not a fee for any one-on-one health insurance marketplace counseling service provided to you by a Certified Application Counselor or for attending a community outreach session.
Outreach & Enrollment Coordinator
Certified Application Counselor
Citizens Memorial Hospital