Catalina Island Medical Center now has help for those needing to sign up or change their insurance coverage under the new Affordable Care Act. CIMC’s Sandy Gutierrez is a certified enrollment counselor with “Covered California” the state component for what is commonly called “Obamacare”. Gutierrez who grew up in the Lakewood area has lived on Catalina for about five years. Her medical background is in home health and resident patient activities. She recently completed a 4-day training course in Long Beach plus spent additional hours online working through the various enrollment procedures. To receive her official certification she also passed a lengthy and comprehensive final exam. She is ready to answer questions and assist prospective patients (in English or in Spanish) to complete the survey and registration process. Gutierrez was excited for the opportunity to work in this expanding area of healthcare. Her enthusiasm was apparent after coming to work at CIMC last September. “I want to help people, especially those with no access to the interest, or who primarily speak Spanish,” Gutierrez shared. Weekday and evening appointments are available and can be made by calling (310) 510-0700. You are asked to leave a message and will then receive a call back.
CIMC’S Dawn Sampson said. “We feel that it’s very important for our residents to have access to the same benefits that people have on the mainland.” Sampson also reported that only those who are legal residents are eligible to take part in the Affordable Care Act’s new benefits and that citizenship and income will be verified through government databases.
Insurance plans, including MediCal, Medicare and private insurance purchased through the marketplace, will also have to cover what are known as Essential Health Benefits. Those benefits include mental health treatment, substance abuse treatment, preventative screenings, hospitalization, prescription drug coverage, outpatient care and pregnancy and pediatric care. Preventative screenings all must be offered at no cost to the patient.
Help is available, so don’t delay. March 23, 2014 is the deadline for insurance registration. CIMC cares about assisting residents with affordable healthcare plans that individuals and families can benefit from.
For more information about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, visit www.CoveredCA.com or call (800) 300-1506.