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December 12, 2013
Mountain West insurance help continues despite website woes

Though website glitches continue to prevent Mountain West Medical Center from assisting citizens with their Marketplace insurance applications, the hospital has ceased postponing consultations.

The hospital’s eligibility services has offered to make its insurance experts available to all area residents for free assistance with the new, government-run insurance website.

However, hospital counselors have been unable to help anyone through the entire Marketplace application because of continued problems with the website, according to Becky Trigg, director of marketing for MWMC.

Since Dec. 10, the hospital has met with 46 Marketplace applicants, she said. Though none have been able to complete the process, insurance consultants have identified five individuals who appear to be qualified for Medicaid coverage, and one of those five has already been approved.

“Even though Utah has chosen not to expand Medicaid, there are still many individuals in our community who qualify for Medicaid coverage,” said Trigg in a press release. “We can help screen these individuals and, if they qualify, we can enroll them at any time, with health coverage beginning immediately.”

In addition to screening applicants for Medicaid, Trigg said the hospital’s insurance consultants are willing and able to help residents with the online Marketplace—at least as much as the website’s functionality will allow. Otherwise, consultants will help residents file an application on paper or over the phone.

In order for insurance purchased on the Marketplace to take effect by Jan. 1, 2014, applicants must enroll in a plan by Dec. 23. Under the Affordable Care Act, uninsured U.S. citizens must register for some form of insurance by March 31, 2014. Those who would like to schedule a consultation at the hospital may call 435-843-3713.

elpenrod@tooeletranscript.com

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