Health Care Navigators Still Available For Assistance Through Mid-April

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Local health care navigators saw a last-minute surge of people trying to sign up for health insurance before the March 31 deadline, and assistance is still available to help people through mid-April who qualify for special enrollment periods.

Special enrollment applies to people who were “in line” — online, over the phone or in person — to enroll by March 31 but who couldn’t complete an application for whatever reason. The “extension” deadline is April 15.

The Affordable Care Act requires that most people have insurance this year or pay a penalty when they file their taxes next year.

The deadline was extended in part because of delays experienced last fall with the federal enrollment site Healthcare.gov and because millions of people were trying to access the site in the final weeks and days leading up to and including March 31.

Nancy Ridge, health care navigation manager for the Medical Foundation of Chattanooga, said, "Navigators were very busy leading up to the March 31 deadline, and appointments are filling up fast through April 15.  Any available appointment, we are filling.  It seems like we’re keeping up right now.”

Navigators are asking people to make appointments as soon as possible so that there’s not another rush to sign up on April 15. Ms. Ridge said on March 31, officials “just had call after call of people trying to get in and asking questions about the website.  If they’re thinking about it, they need to get in. They need to call.”

To make an appointment with a health care navigator at the Medical Foundation, please call 423-622-2872. If approved, these consumers will be eligible for coverage beginning May 1.




Tennessee Surgical Quality Collaborative Says It Saves 533 Lives, $75 Million in Three Years

A unique collaborative of Tennessee surgeons, hospitals, and insurers, established in 2008 to share data, compare results, and improve outcomes, said it came up with impressive results to the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP) National Conference in New York City this week. Ten hospitals in the Tennessee Surgical Quality Collaborative ... (click for more)

Debra Chew: Women And Balancing The “Change Of Life”

My favorite act at the circus is the balancing act.  You know, the guy walking the tightrope, balancing each step he takes so that he doesn’t lose his equilibrium and come crashing down.  Sometimes life can make women feel like they are walking a tightrope and that the least change will take them off balance and they will come crashing down. Unfortunately, women walk ... (click for more)

House Approves Expansion Of Chattanooga Veterans Affairs Clinic

The House of Representatives passed legislation Wednesday to authorize funding for a new lease and expanded Veterans Affairs clinic in Chattanooga. This veterans’ package has been approved by the House and Senate Conference Committee.  Rep. Chuck Fleischmann said, “I am proud to announce the legislation passed this afternoon will fund a new lease for a multi-specialty ... (click for more)

Cleveland City Council To Hold Special Meeting On Naming New City Judge

The Cleveland City Council will hold a special called meeting next Monday to consider an interim appointment of a city judge. It will be at 11:45 a.m. at the City Council’s regular meeting place in the Cleveland Municipal Building, 190 Church Street, NE. The council will also establish the process for application for city judge. Longtime City Judge Bill Moss died July ... (click for more)

Curtis Adams: Beck, Mackey Should Be Considered For County Commission Leadership

Just think about this;  a person highly qualified applying for a job.  As he is just about finished filling out his papers for his interview, he sees at the bottom there is a place for him to check Democrat or Republican.  He would think, “if I mark the wrong one I may not get the job.” Being a real leader requires honesty, integrity, and, most importantly, fairness. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Mark’s 50th Anniversary Toast

In the new book that celebrates the first 50 years of baseball’s Southern League, its splendid author Mark McCarter recalls that very early in his career as a sports writer, he was riding with his boss somewhere and mentioned that if the legendary Allan Morris ever needed help covering the Chattanooga Lookouts that he’d love to help. Today, as he looks back, he ruefully adds, “I ... (click for more)