Navigators help consumers shop for health insurance

Monday, November 17, 2014

Open enrollment underway

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia’s Health Insurance Marketplace is now open and help is available to Mountain State residents seeking affordable health insurance coverage.

Beginning November 15, consumers can apply for private insurance, Medicaid and/or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) with one application.

By visiting Healthcare.gov, West Virginians can read important information, print checklists and watch helpful videos meant to guide applicants through the application and enrollment process. In addition, WV Healthy Start Navigators are available for in-person assistance.

All plans in the Marketplace cover essential health benefits, pre-existing conditions and more. In fact, no one can be denied coverage for a pre-existing condition. These comprehensive plans provide coverage for doctor visits, hospital stays, preventive care and prescriptions.

WV Healthy Start/HAPI has two full-time navigators currently helping people in eight West Virginia counties apply and enroll in the marketplace by providing outreach, education, referral and enrollment assistance. The navigators’ services are available to residents of Barbour, Harrison, Marion, Monongalia, Preston, Randolph, Taylor, and Upshur counties.

Residents in Harrison, Marion, Monongalia and Preston Counties can contact Kelly Taylor at (304)598-5150. Barbour, Randolph, Taylor and Upshur residents should call Carol Bush at (304)457-1670. Each is recognized by the United States Department of Health and Human Services as a Marketplace Navigator. In addition to helping enrollees find the most affordable coverage that meets their needs, Navigators are certified to assist consumers in understanding new programs and consumer protection.

To have coverage effective January 1, 2015, Marketplace applicants must go through the enrollment process by December 15, 2014. The open enrollment period ends February 15, 2015.

Funded by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) since 2001, WV Healthy Start/HAPI is a collaborative project of the West Virginia University School of Medicine’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the WVU School of Dentistry, the West Virginia Office of Maternal, Child and Family Health and community health agencies in the counties served by the project. One of many Healthy Start Projects nationally and the only one in West Virginia, HAPI’s goal is to help women and their families have the healthiest babies and families possible.

There is more in-person assistance located throughout our community. For help locating someone, contact WV Healthy Start at 1-866-738-HAPI.

-- WVU HEALTH --
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For more information: Leigh Limerick, Communications Specialist, 304-293-7087
lal: 11-17-14