Cumberland Health Education Organization Aims To Help Marylanders Understand Medicare Options | WDVM25 and DCW50


CUMBERLAND, Md. (WDVM) – While open enrollment for health insurance began on November 1, many might not know what they are entitled to or whether they can receive financial assistance to reduce premium costs. A health education center in Cumberland, Md., Aims to help people in western Maryland get coverage.

The past 18 months have shown us the importance of health insurance. For many, there can be confusion as to what they are entitled to or the cost. The Area Health Education Center, or AHEC, West is a West Maryland nonprofit that provides exactly such answers.

David Sawyer is the director of the Medicare program at AHEC West which cannot stress enough the importance to residents of West Maryland and the rest of the state. He explained that there are common misconceptions or unknowns when people work with AHEC West to enroll in health insurance.

“The mission of AHEC is to improve access to health care and improve the quality of health care and to help people understand their health insurance options and to help people get better. register, ”Sawyer explained. “Now what most people don’t understand is that there is financial help available to lower the cost of the premium. “

Sawyer explained that one of the most important parts of health insurance is that it comes with a benefit called the maximum amount. A maximum amount is a limit to the amount you can owe for medical expenses such as a hospital stay or surgery. Sawyer explained that if you choose to go without health insurance, you agree to pay for every expense you incur, which means that in an emergency there is no limit to what you can. to have to.

“Health insurance has you covered and it’s about getting the health care you need,” said Sawyer. “But it’s also about limiting your financial exposure.

“In an emergency, maybe they can get a Bronze plan for $ 3-4 a month. I promise you most people spend more on coffee in a month.

David Sawyer explaining the importance of investing in your health care coverage.

Along with their other health education programs, AHEC West provides navigators to help consumers better understand the health insurance field, especially with Maryland Health Connection, which is part of the Affordable Care Act. AHEC West is working with Maryland Health Connection to reduce rates for uninsured Marylanders in Washington, Allegany and Garrett counties.

Sawyer also explained that many residents are unaware that they can receive financial assistance for their health insurance and that there is additional assistance for young adults. He explained that over the past year, new increased financial assistance has been introduced through the Young Adult Grant. For this upcoming health care enrollment year, adults between the ages of 18 and 34 will be eligible for more financial health benefits than in the past.

He also pointed out that all services provided by AHEC West are free and that there is no obligation for residents to pay for services and consultations. Sawyer says the first step to getting health insurance is to call AHEC West to see exactly what your options are.

“All of our services are free. Most people make the mistake of assuming they won’t get any financial help to get insurance and they just won’t,” Sawyer explained.

Carol Morgan is a Navigator at AHEC West and guides residents through their options and the registration process. She thinks everyone, especially young people, should have some sort of health insurance.

“We are there to help them and give them information. So it’s worth the phone call, ”Morgan said.

She stressed that health insurance is not a one-size-fits-all approach. She explained that coverage may vary depending on their demographics like age, location and income.

“You can’t say to yourself ‘Well my neighbor or my friend told me this’ because every request is unique to that person. So what is the cost for one person may not be the same for another, ”Morgan pointed out.

Although AHEC West does not currently offer in-person appointments, they are available for phone or video calls and offer weekend and evening appointments.

For more information, please visit their website or call (888) 202-0212.

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