Hospital staffers trained to explain health insurance options

2013-10-02T00:00:00Z 2013-10-12T22:34:04Z Hospital staffers trained to explain health insurance optionsTimes Staff
October 02, 2013 12:00 am  • 

MUNSTER | Specially-trained staffers at the hospitals of Community Healthcare System are ready to help those who are uninsured obtain health insurance that meets both their needs and budget. In-person assistance is available at Community Hospital in Munster; St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago and St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart to help area residents complete the application and enrollment process that began Tuesday.

In the new Healthcare Insurance Marketplace, consumers can go to one place to find health plans that cover a comprehensive set of benefits, and they cannot be denied coverage based on pre-existing conditions.

All health plans offered through the marketplace cover costs associated with physician visits, hospital stays and prescriptions.

To obtain insurance coverage, consumers must enroll between by March 31, 2014. Coverage can begin as soon as Jan. 1, 2014. Many people, based on income and family size, will qualify for government help in paying the costs of these new insurance plans.

“We know there are a lot of questions and concerns about these new programs and we want to be a resource to people in our community,” said Karen Schneider, regional director of Patient Financial Services of the Community Healthcare System.

“In addition to exploring options through the new Healthcare Marketplace Insurance program, we can also look at coverage that may be available through other programs such as Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program or the state of Indiana’s HIP program.”

To help guide consumers, in-person, through the application and enrollment process, Community Healthcare System has 16 licensed, certified Indiana Health Navigators. Call (219) 934-8888 or (800) 210-9776 for an appointment to meet with a navigator at Community Hospital, St. Catherine Hospital or St. Mary Medical Center. Assistance is available in Spanish.

In addition, consumers can complete the process online at ( or call a government representative at (800) 318-2596, available 24 hours a day and able to assist in 150 different languages.

If your employer is not offering insurance in 2014, the Marketplace can provide new options. Under the Affordable Care Act, people may pay a penalty beginning in 2014 if they don't have health insurance.

The plan you choose will determine how much you will pay each month and what portion of the bill you will pay for, like hospital visits or prescriptions. In general, if you choose a plan with lower monthly costs, you will pay a higher share of the costs when you get care.



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