By CHRISTIN COYNE
Residents of Parker County who may be affected by health insurance requirements under the Affordable Care Act have several opportunities to learn more about their options and how the new system works.
With the federal government rolling out the online Health Insurance Marketplace this month and deadlines to obtain required health coverage approaching, area residents can get free information from some local sources, as well as the federal governement website and phone number.
In an effort to educate families about how the federal health insurance exchange will work in Texas, or those just curious about how it all works, Weatherford Regional Medical Center CEO David Orcutt gave presentations Tuesday and Wednesday at area community events and is scheduled to give another Tuesday night at 6 p.m. at the Weatherford ISD Ninth Grade Center.
Those considering purchasing insurance on the Health Insurance Marketplace can also set up a time to talk with a certified application counselor at Weatherford Regional Medical Center at 817-599-1621.
The United Way of Tarrant County is also providing navigators in the Parker County area to work one-on-one with those who can’t use the government’s website or phone number and do group presentations about the exchange and coverage options. The phone number is (817) 258-8188.
Pecan Valley MHMR in Weatherford is providing application assistance, as well. Their phone number is (817) 579-4400.
The Affordable Care Act requires everyone to have health coverage in 2014 or pay a fee of $95 per adult, $47.50 per child or 1 percent of income, whichever is higher. The fees for failure to have health coverage will go up each year, as well.
With Medicare designed for those over the age of 65 years old and Medicaid targeting those under the poverty line, the health care insurance exchange is intended to reach those between 100 percent and 400 percent of the poverty level who may not be offered insurance through their employer.