Published: 10/18/2013

Evangelical Community Hospital Offers Assistance to People Using the Open Insurance Marketplace (Exchange)

Choosing the right insurance that meets the medical needs of you and your family can become confusing and overwhelming.
 
In response to the open insurance marketplace (also referred to as exchange) implemented by the federal government in October, Evangelical Community Hospital recently began offering a service that takes the insurance challenge head-on and aids community members with choosing health coverage that meets their medical needs.
 
Heading the effort is Certified Application Counselor (CAC), Kathy Wagner, who has over 35 years of experience in the health insurance industry and is specifically trained by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in using the Health Insurance Marketplace, the tool used to assist individuals in getting health insurance through the exchange.
 
The marketplace is designed to offer affordable health insurance to individuals who do not have health insurance or buy health insurance on their own because it is not available through an employer.
 
“I want to help people through the process of getting health insurance. I’ve seen many people become confused by insurance policies and the terms associated with them. The goal is to help individuals find affordable insurance that covers their needs and will be accepted by doctors and health facilities near them,” said Wagner.
 
To become certified, Wagner completed a series of trainings, classes, and tests administered by the CMS. In her role, she assists people with understanding, applying, and enrolling for health coverage through the Marketplace. This service is completely free and available by appointment.
 
As a counselor, Wagner has some key objectives for her clients:
·         Determine if they are eligible to purchase health insurance using the Health Insurance Marketplace
·         Understand health insurance options and help find an appropriate plan
·         Determine eligibility for affordability assistance (lower costs on insurance plans)
·         Use the Health Insurance Marketplace, including assistance with the application and enrollment process

Wagner continued, “It’s important to know that in an insurance counseling session, an individual’s confidentiality is the highest priority, all information is kept private and is protected and the insurance plans that are presented are done so in an unbiased way. We’re here to work with people one on one to get them the coverage they need.”
 
Qualified individuals can enroll through the open insurance marketplace until March 31, 2014 but are encouraged to sign up and pay the first premium by December 15, 2013 to be covered by January 1, 2014, when the government mandate to carry insurance goes into effect.
 
Individuals seeking guidance and counseling on health insurance available to them should make an appointment with Kathy Wagner by calling (570) 522-4034.
 
Evangelical Community Hospital received the Healthgrades Outstanding Patient Experience Award in 2013 for the fifth consecutive year, making it one of two hospitals in Pennsylvania to be recognized for consistent, positive patient experience.
 
Evangelical is a non-profit organization that employs approximately 1,300 people and has more than 170 employed and non-employed physicians on staff. The Hospital is licensed to accommodate 132 overnight patients, 12 acute rehab patients and 18 bassinets. The Hospital serves residents throughout the Central Susquehanna Valley, including those living in Snyder, Union, Northumberland and Lycoming Counties.

 


Kathy Wagner, heads the new service of Evangelical Community Hospital. She has over 35 years of experience in the health insurance industry and is specifically trained by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in using the Health Insurance Marketplace, the tool used to assist individuals in getting health insurance through the exchanges introduced by the Federal Government on October 1, 2013.