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Finding Health Coverage That Fits Your Needs

February 25, 2014

Washington Hospital Offers Free Seminar to Help Residents Find Health Insurance Under the New Affordable Care Act

Washington Hospital, through its free Health Insurance Information Service, is working to help local residents understand the insurance requirements of the new Affordable Care Act that went into effect on January 1, 2014. On Wednesday, March 5, the hospital is sponsoring a free seminar to give residents information about their insurance options and health care services available in our community. Options for children, adults, seniors and those with pre-existing conditions will be discussed, and information on free and low-cost services will be provided at the seminar.

"The insurance requirements and benefits of the Affordable Care Act are new for everyone," said Kristi Caracappa, health insurance information coordinator at Washington Hospital. "We want to support people as they learn about what it will mean for themselves and their family members. And, when necessary, we want to help them find the right health insurance."

Titled: "Do You Have Health Insurance Coverage? Learn About Your Options," the seminar will feature information regarding the Affordable Care Act, Covered California, Medicare and other health programs. The free lecture will take place on Wednesday, March 5 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Conrad E. Anderson, M.D. Auditorium, 2500 Mowry Avenue (Washington West) building. To reserve your spot, go online to www.whhs.com and look under Upcoming Seminars, or call (800) 963-7070.

Learn About Covered California
Covered California, the stateÕs new health insurance benefits exchange, gives people the tools to shop for health insurance that meets their needs and fits their budget. On the exchange's Web site www.coveredca.com, you can compare available health plans, get answers to questions and enroll in the plan you select. In addition, Covered California can help small businesses find affordable health insurance for their employees. There is also a toll-free consumer assistance phone hotline.
"At the seminar, we'll talk about how the exchange works and how people can determine the cost of coverage, depending on if they are looking for an individual plan or a family plan," explained Caracappa. "It's important to note that the open enrollment period ends on March 31 if you want to enroll in a health plan this year through Covered California."

The Covered California website includes an online calculator to help people determine how much they can anticipate paying for health insurance obtained through the exchange.

"We will also try to address areas of particular concern, such as the needs of people who have no coverage because they have been out of work,Ó Caracappa says. ÒWe'll review different types of health insurance and government-sponsored programs as well."
People with a pre-existing condition who were previously unable to get affordable coverage, can also find a plan to fit their needs. Under the Affordable Care Act, insurance carriers can no longer deny coverage due to illness or a pre-existing condition.

Washington Hospital's Insurance Information Service is a free, confidential program that works to provide people with the information they need to make informed decisions about their health insurance. You can reach them at (800) 770-9447 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Information is available by phone, or you can make an appointment for a free personal consultation.

Learn About Medicare Options in April
Washington Hospital will also offer a free Medicare seminar on Tuesday, April 15. The lecture will discuss the qualifications that are needed for Medicare, Medicare Part D (prescription drug plan) and Medicare Advantage plans. To find out more about Washington Hospital's Health Insurance Information Service, visit www.whhs.com/health-insurance.

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