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Bernard helps patients at Macon County General Hospital

How one hospital is partnering with Bernard to help their patients

Up to six million Americans are expected to pay a tax penalty this year for not having health insurance coverage in 2014. To help families avoid future penalties, a special enrollment period for the Health Insurance Marketplace opened on March 15, 2015, and will close April 30, 2015.

This special enrollment period is an additional time outside of open enrollment during which you and your family have a right to sign up for health coverage. This will be your last chance this year to receive health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace and avoid a tax penalty for next year.

Why is health coverage important?

Health coverage helps cover the cost of medical services, tests and treatments that assist you in getting and staying healthy. The required basic level of coverage includes preventive care, health screenings, well woman and prenatal care, immunizations for adults and children, treatment for pre-existing conditions, and the cost of some prescription medications.

What fees might I owe if I’m not covered?

Surveys have shown that nearly half of uninsured adults are unaware of the penalty associated with not having health coverage. In 2014, the penalty for not having the required minimum level of health coverage was up to $95 per uninsured person or 1% of a household’s income. For 2015, this amount will more than double, with the penalty per uninsured person reaching $325 or 2% of a household’s income.

There are exemptions available to those who cannot afford coverage or who have experienced hardship. Consult Healthcare.gov or an Bernard Health advisor to see if you qualify for an exemption.

Who’s eligible for the special enrollment session?

The special enrollment period is designed for the following:

  • Those who don’t currently have health coverage for 2015;
  • Those who paid a penalty as part of their 2014 federal income tax returns for not having health insurance in 2014; and
  • Those who became aware of the individual mandate penalty after the regular 2015 enrollment window closed.

Macon County General Hospital can help

Macon County General Hospital can help you learn more about the special enrollment period, what tax penalties you may face for not having health coverage and what health plans are available to you. We have an advisor onsite to support you in the application process.

“We’re offering this service to individuals and families. Health insurance is confusing,” said Bernard Health Team Member Mallory Jones. “It’s more like filing taxes than buying car insurance and people need help with it. We have an advisor set up at MCGH. Her name is Rachel Hesson. She is there 5 days a week to meet with either people that come through the ER, or people in the community that make an appointment with her.”

“It is a free service when you come into the hospital. It’s an awesome opportunity to get this advice,” she said.

Contact them today. You can call 615-666-2147. Rachel Hesson is available for phone or in-person appointments.

Don’t be caught off guard by not being covered. Learn the value of health insurance and get covered today.

Bernard Health was featured in the Macon County Times this past week. The article, written by Reporter Stacey Morgan, touches on the importance of having healthcare coverage and she gives the readers the basic facts about the March 15th-April 30th Special Enrollment Period for Marketplace coverage.

This column originally appeared in the March 30th edition of the Macon County Times

If you enjoyed this post, you may like Top 5 Ways Hospitals are Helping Patients Find Health Insurance.

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