Coverage available to all through Marketplace

By David Sirk
CEO of Vaughan Regional Medical Center

After much anticipation, the time is here. As of Oct. 1, nearly 50 million uninsured Americans across the country can apply for affordable health care coverage through the now-open Health Insurance Marketplaces. In Alabama, our Marketplace is run by the federal government and is located online at

The new Health Insurance Marketplace is like an online shopping platform for health insurance.

After completing one simple application, you will be able to see a comprehensive list of the plans available in our area and be informed if you qualify for newly-available government subsidies offered to qualified individuals to help offset the expense of health insurance. It’s easy. It’s transparent. And it offers coverage at a variety of affordable and competitive price points.

Here are a few additional benefits you should know about the new Marketplace:

Nobody can be denied for a pre-existing condition. Nobody.

Many people will qualify for subsidies. The government is providing varying levels of funding to assist people with incomes ranging from 100 percent to 400 percent of the Federal poverty level.

While there are several types of plans and levels of coverage available, there is a core set of essential health benefits that must be covered by every plan. These include:

  • Ambulatory patient services (outpatient care you get without being admitted to a hospital)
  • Emergency services
  • Hospitalization
  • Maternity and newborn care (care before and after your baby is born)
  • Mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment such as counseling and psychotherapy
  • Prescription drugs
  • Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices that help people with injuries, disabilities, or chronic conditions gain or recover mental and physical skills
  • Laboratory services
  • Preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management
  • Pediatric services

Vaughan Regional understands all of these new opportunities can be overwhelming to understand and navigate and we want you to know that we’re here to support you in the application process and in determining in which plans your local health care providers are included.

If you are interested in enrolling in health insurance through the Marketplace, we can help you. Call us at (888) 982-9144 to speak with a Certified Application Counselor 24 hours a day, seven days a week or to schedule an appointment for in-person assistance at Vaughan Regional Medical Center. Or, simply stop by our registration desk Monday-Friday during normal business hours for help.

Still have questions? Reach us via e-mail at, or visit for more information.

Coverage purchased through the Marketplace is effective Jan. 1, and you can enroll anytime between now and March 31.

I hope you will explore the options available to you through this important new resource.