With the recent Medicaid expansion in Virginia and the Open Enrollment period currently open, Southwest Virginia Community Health Systems are assisting area residents to understand their insurance options.
From now until December 15, 2018, Open Enrollment for 2019 is now available for people to enroll in a health insurance plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace, www.healthcare.gov, which was established by the Affordable Care Act and allows consumers to compare health insurance plans based on key factors including providers, coverage and price. Coverage will begin on January 1, 2019. To be eligible, the person must live in the United States, must be a U.S. citizen or national (or be lawfully present), and can’t be incarcerated. There are two types of coverage, which include an insurance plan with tax credits, depending on income, or for Medicaid/Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). All plans cover essential health benefits, pre-existing conditions, and preventive services.
At each of the four Southwest Virginia Community Health Systems sites in Saltville, Va. Tazewell, Va., Meadowview, Va. and Bristol, Va. , Outreach & Enrollment, who are also Certified Application Counselors, can help navigating the Health Insurance Marketplace for residents by assisting in the application process. If it looks like someone in your household is part of the 400,000 Virginians who will qualify for Medicaid based on the expansion, then your information will be sent from the Health Insurance Marketplace to your local state agency. Approximately 21,000 of those newly eligible Virginians live in Southwest Virginia. Individuals eligible for Virginia Medicaid include adults ages 19-64 who are not already in or eligible for Medicare. Eligibility is determined by income requirements, such as a single adult who makes less than $16,754 per year, or a family of three with a household income of less than $28,677. Other plans are available though, if the person does not meet the criteria to qualify for Medicaid. Residents can apply for Medicaid outside of the Open Enrollment period, as well.
Enrollment specialists are also available at all four of Southwest Virginia Community Health Systems sites in Saltville, Va., Tazewell, Va., Meadowview, Va., and Bristol, Va. Monday through Friday during normal business hours. For more information, call 276-496-4492.