DeKalb Medical Urges Community to Explore Health Insurance Options Under the Affordable Care Act
January 08, 2016
Nearly two million Georgians lack health insurance, according to Georgians for a Healthy Future. In DeKalb County, the Census Bureau reports that approximately 24% of the population under age 65 lacks health insurance, with even higher percentages in south and central DeKalb.
Lack of health insurance is a primary cause for lack of preventable and routine healthcare, says Kim Bentley, MS, RN, CCRN, Administrator of DeKalb Medical at Hillandale. “When preventable and routine healthcare isn’t an option for people, they miss things that only get worse and end up in crisis in our community’s emergency rooms. We have emergency rooms for emergencies, but so many times, emergencies could be prevented if diagnosis of conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes occurred with a routine medical care. It’s hard to see the unnecessary suffering that so many endure due to lack of health insurance.”
The Affordable Care Act, often referred to as ObamaCare, was designed to improve access to care, yet many who would be eligible for subsidies are still confused by the offerings and how the insurance exchanges work. In addition, many are not aware that penalties for not having coverage will increase in 2016 to $695, up from $325 in 2015. The deadline for enrollment is January 31, 2015.
To help people understand their options, DeKalb Medical at Hillandale (2701 DeKalb Medical Parkway in Lithonia) is partnering with Insure Georgia for a free event on Tuesday, January 19 from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. in the hospital’s Community Room. All are welcome to attend and learn more. Those seeking to enroll in coverage should bring the following: Documentation of income such as a w-2 or a paycheck stub, social security benefit letter or information on other income you receive (even if you don’t pay taxes on it); Employer’s phone number and address; and those who are not a citizen, citizenship certificate, immigration documents, refugee travel documents, green card or other eligible status documents.
Registration for the event is recommended but not required. To register or for more information, call 404-501-WELL.
About DeKalb Medical
DeKalb Medical offers more than 700 doctors skilled in 55 medical specialties. The not-for-profit health care system consists of three campuses -- DeKalb Medical at North Decatur, DeKalb Medical LTAC at Downtown Decatur, and DeKalb Medical at Hillandale—as well as the DeKalb Physicians Group with over 30 practices in DeKalb and Gwinnett counties. Founded in DeKalb County in 1961, DeKalb Medical is an established and active member of the community, offering a variety of award-winning, accessible services, including joint replacement, long-term acute care, surgical weight loss, mammography, heartburn solutions and more. The Maternity Center is the first in Georgia to receive the international “Baby-Friendly” hospital designation. The Cancer Center has been awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award by The Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons. To learn more about DeKalb Medical, please visit our website: www.dekalbmedical.org.
About Insure Georgia
Insure Georgia (Insure GA) is a focused initiative of Community Health Works (www.chwg.org) with the purpose of helping Georgia’s uninsured and under insured gain affordable access to high quality health insurance coverage. The Insure Georgia Initiative is funded by the US Department of Health and Human Services, Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services to serve as a statewide Health Insurance Marketplace Navigator Organization. With this funding, Insure Georgia has navigators throughout the state that assist consumers understand and enroll in plans through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
Additional source material available at: