Date: 9/30/2013

Navigators help guide uninsured through new Healthcare Marketplace

Specially-trained staff 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 help 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 beginning Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013.

With these new insurance options, the promise of healthcare for all is becoming a reality. In the 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 through these new plans, you must enroll between Oct. 1, 2013 and March 31, 2014. Coverage can begin as soon as Jan. 1, 2014. Many people, based on their income and family size, will qualify for 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 also available in Spanish.

In addition to enrolling through navigators, consumers can complete this process online at
( or call a government representative at 1-800-318-2596 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 you with new options. Under the Affordable Care Act, you may need to pay a penalty beginning in 2014 if you 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. If you need a lot of medical care, you may want to select a plan that carries a higher monthly cost so you pay a lower share of the cost of the care you receive. You will be able to see the premium, deductible and out-of-pocket costs of each plan before you enroll.

More information on the Health Insurance Marketplace is available by visiting our web page: click here.