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      Heartland residents learn about mandated health insurance

      The Affordable Care Act is a hot button issue across the country and with mandated enrollment coming up on October 1, itâ??s important that you know all the facts. Thursday afternoon at St. Andrews Apartments in Kirksville, Northeast Regional Medical Center Chief Executive Officer Ranee Brayton, BSN, MBA, FACHE spoke about the health insurance marketplace.

      The marketplace will help uninsured, eligible Americans gain access to affordable health care. For those who make little to no income Brayton said there are subsidies available related to income guidelines.

      Some individuals may also qualify for Medicaid coverage. The enrollment begins October 1 and the providers that will make up the marketplace are still unknown. â??So, my advice to the consumer is to stay alert and stay aware of the information; but not to make any quick decisions until the program gets kicked off and smoothed out,â?? Brayton said. â??We'll know more as the program gets rolled out. People do have until January 2014 to sign up.â??

      Beginning October 1, 2013, everyone can view the new health insurance marketplace website, where you can shop for and buy an insurance plan that works best for you. All marketplace plans must cover doctor visits, prescriptions, emergency room and hospital care, pregnancy, mental health, pre-existing conditions and more. What you pay depends on your income. Under the new law, if you have a pre-existing condition, insurance companies cannot deny you coverage.

      There is a tool that illustrates health insurance premiums and subsidies for anyone purchasing insurance on their own in new health insurance exchanges (or Marketplaces) created by the Affordable Care Act. Click HERE for that.

      If you need help or have more questions, Northeast Regional will have certified counselors available. To set up an appointment with a certified counselor you can call the hospital at (660) 785-1000.

      To see a link to a previous story on the Affordable Care Act click HERE.