Alta Vista available to answer questions

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Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, U.S. citizens are required to have health insurance — with few exceptions. Key initiatives of the Affordable Care Act (i.e., healthcare reform) began Oct. 1.

As a key health provider in the northeast region of New Mexico, we want to provide education to our community members in an easy-to-understand way, as well as help them sign up for insurance through the health insurance marketplace, Medicaid and/or assistance with their premiums for medical coverage.

Health Insurance Marketplaces have open enrollment, allowing citizens access to affordable, comprehensive health insurance coverage. Depending on household income, some individuals may be eligible for financial assistance — or subsidies — towards the cost of the premium.

All marketplace plans offer the same set of comprehensive benefits. The best news is that individuals can no longer be denied coverage because of a pre-existing health condition. Some of the essential health benefits include:

• Preventative care and wellness services
• Doctor visits
• Prescription drugs
• Hospital and emergency department care
• Lab services
• Chronic disease management
• Pediatric Services

New Mexico has (also) chosen to expand Medicaid coverage beginning January 2014. This expansion will increase eligibility limits for adults up to 138 percent of the Federal Poverty Income Level (equivalent to an annual income of about $15,900 for one person). This will open Medicaid coverage to a new population, including childless adults. This is a category of population not currently served by Medicaid. But citizens must enroll.

Open enrollment for health coverage on a Medicaid expansion states runs Oct. 1, 2013 - March 31, 2014. Those who qualify and enroll in 2013 will have coverage effective Jan. 1, 2014.

Alta Vista Regional Hospital has qualified staff available to help the members of our community navigate and sign up for one of these programs. They simply need to call 505-426-3920 to make an appointment. We also have translators available to help with any language barriers.

Also if you would like to have a speaker address your group or organization, call Linda Leyba at 505-426-3959 and we’ll be happy to work with you. ...

While many changes are occurring in healthcare, our commitment to providing quality care remains constant. We are committed not only to supporting the community’s health needs, but also to informing and educating the people we serve.

Kathleen Cahill
CEO, Alta Vista Regional Hospital
Las Vegas