Mahaska Health Partnership Certified to Assist with Health Insurance Marketplace

Mahaska Health Partnership

Mahaska Health Partnership

MAHASKA COUNTY – Mahaska Health Partnership has staff members readily available to answer questions and assist individuals in registering for insurance on the Health Insurance Marketplace.

According to Joyce Vonk, director of Patient Accounts at MHP, getting health insurance before March 31, 2014 is necessary to avoid tax penalties. “We have a number of staff members trained to assist anyone with health insurance questions. Whether you are completely new to the process, or get halfway through and need additional help, we are happy to provide guidance.

“There are many advantages to the Affordable Care Act,” Vonk stated. “Some of these include the elimination of high monthly premiums charged by insurance companies based on health status or gender, coverage of dependents up to age 26 and elimination of discrimination based on pre-existing conditions. Everyone is able to get affordable health insurance, regardless of employment status or health condition.”

Other benefits include clinical services, maternity and newborn care, pediatric services and wellness services. “The increase to the minimum requirements of services covered by health insurances has been enhanced to help everyone. Not only are vital services for mothers, children and other emergent services covered, but preventative measures are also included. While change can be hard, these improvements were made to help improve the quality of life for everyone.”

Some other items will be changing as well, according to Vonk. For instance, Hawk-I (Healthy and Well Kids in Iowa) will remain active, but Iowa Care will no longer exist. “It is important to assess your current healthcare situation to make sure your coverage sufficiently meets the government standards. Our Certified Application Counselors are here to help ensure your insurance coverage does all of that.”

MHP will be hosting an educational event for the public Tuesday, Jan. 7, from 6:30 to 7:30 pm in the Cedar Bluff Learning Center (entrance #3) for anyone who has questions about their health insurance. There will be a 30 minute presentation by the Certified Application Counselors, with time for questions and scheduling appointments afterwards.

“The new healthcare rules are very confusing for everyone,” Vonk assured. “Our certified staff has received in-depth training about the new health insurance laws so we can help. As the leading healthcare organization in Oskaloosa, we feel it’s vital to provide our community with the tools necessary to get affordable health insurance.

“To have your coverage begin January 1, 2014, you must be enrolled by December 23, 2013. You can still enroll in 2014, however, coverage will not begin until the start of the following month. In order to avoid government penalties, you must be enrolled by March 31, 2014,” Vonk urged. “Everyone is required to have health insurance, so being proactive can help alleviate issues later on.”

MHP Certified Application Counselors are available to answer questions and help people search for plans that best fit their needs. Meeting with a counselor will take approximately one hour, but each situation is different. To schedule an appointment, please call 641.672.3362 or email insurancehelp@mahaskahealth.org.

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