CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System is offering free counseling services to those seeking individual or family coverage through the Health Insurance Exchange during open enrollment that started November 1 and will go through December 15, 2018.

According to a press release, certified application counselors will be available at 3101 Kennedy Lane,  Suite 1200, Texarkana, Texas to help guide participants through the enrollment process, clarify if their health care provider will continue to be in network and determine if they qualify for insurance premium assistance. Participants can call 903.614.2776 to make an appointment. Walk-ins are also welcome.

Appointments will take place at the following times, dates and locations:

Texarkana Public Library
600 W. 3rd St
Texarkana, TX 75501
Date: November 27th, 2018
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Atlanta Public Library
101 W. Hiram St
Atlanta, TX 75551
Date: November 29th, 2018
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Salem Baptist Church
281 County Road 1754
Linden, TX 75563
Date: December 4th, 2018
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Hope Chamber of Commerce
101 W. 2nd St
Hope, AR 71801
Date: December 6th, 2018
Time: 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

ArkLaTex Council of Governments Agency (ATCOG) is offering a Premium Support Program with grant funding provided by CHRISTUS St. Michael. The program is designed to help families and individuals pay premium costs for health care coverage. To determine qualification for premium assistance, participants must bring a pay stub from 2018 or a 2017 Tax Return. Persons who are not U.S. citizens must provide proof of legal residence.

Arkansas residents who meet the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines do not qualify for the Premium Support program because their premium costs are already covered through the expansion of Medicaid in Arkansas also referred to as Arkansas Works.

“Residents from our region need to remember the deadline for enrollment in an insurance plan is Dec. 15, 2018, to avoid tax penalties that will occur for those who do not enroll,” said Father Lawrence Chellaian, CHRISTUS St. Michael Vice President of Mission Integration.

“The goal of the certified application counselors is to empower people from our area with the knowledge to make informed health insurance decisions in line with America’s health care law, the Affordable Care Act,” he explained. “You can book an appointment with a certified application counselor who is trained to educate individuals and families about their health care coverage options, help them enroll or re-enroll, and help them determine if they qualify for financial assistance.”

“Benefits of having health insurance include less financial exposure for families because hospitalization and emergency services are covered,” Sylvia Harrison, Director, Payor Operations and Network Relations, explained. “Health insurance provides individuals and families reassurance with expanded opportunity to access health care when needed.”

For more information on health insurance options or to make an appointment, call 903-614-2776.

More From Eagle 106.3