Open enrollment deadline looms


The open enrollment period for the Health Insurance Marketplace ends earlier this year, on Dec. 15. Evanston Regional Hospital is again helping area residents learn about and enroll in health insurance options on the Health Insurance Marketplace. This is a free service provided by the hospital.

“As a primary health provider in Uinta County, our goal is to help educate residents in an easy-to-understand way, as well as assist those who haven’t yet signed up for health insurance or Medicaid, if qualified,” Evanston Regional Hospital CEO Jeremy Davis said. “We have been meeting one-on-one to help these individuals find affordable coverage.”

As part of the Affordable Care Act, most U.S. citizens were required to have health insurance beginning in 2014. While millions of people have gained access to health insurance, 14 percent of Wyoming’s population under the age of 65 remains uninsured. 

To make an appointment to meet with an application counselor, call (307) 783-8148.

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insurance marketplaces

The Health Insurance Marketplace provides U.S. citizens access to affordable health insurance coverage. Depending on household income, some individuals may qualify for government financial assistance, or subsidies, toward the cost of the premium and other financial obligations like co-pays or deductibles. 

All health plans on the Marketplace must offer a comprehensive set of benefits, and coverage cannot be denied for individuals with a pre-existing health condition. Some of the health benefits include free preventive care and wellness services, doctor visits, prescription drugs, hospital and emergency department care, lab services, pediatric services and more. 

The penalty for not having insurance has increased this year. If you can afford health insurance coverage, but don’t sign up, you may have to pay a penalty. For more information about this year’s penalty fees, visit healthcare.gov/fees. 

“This is where Evanston Regional Hospital can assist,” said Davis. “With many people not having access to a computer or having difficulty maneuvering on the government website, our application counselors can help individuals and their families evaluate the health plan options and determine if they are eligible for Medicaid or other financial assistance. We’ll also help with re-enrollment.”

Though a major function of www.healthcare.gov is assessing whether individuals and families qualify for financial assistance to lower the cost of health insurance, Evanston Regional Hospital’s application counselor can perform the same analysis and help with enrollment and re-enrollment. To make an appointment to meet with an application counselor, call (307) 783-8148.

“Evanston Regional Hospital is committed to improving the health of the communities we serve by helping residents gain access to healthcare services,” said Davis. 

According to the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, since the passage of the ACA, about 16.4 million uninsured people have gained health coverage as of May 2015. Yet, approximately 30 million Americans remain uninsured.

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