For many of us, selecting the health insurance option that best meets our – and our family’s – needs and pocketbook can be a daunting prospect.

This is especially true since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the number of insurance options now being offered through the Covered California exchange to people who previously may not have had access to affordable health coverage.

How do you pick the right plan from the choices available? It’s easy to be confused. For example, you might not realize that a minimal plan that initially looked attractive because of its low premiums does not cover the cost of medications. If you’re taking regular prescription drugs, a higher-level plan that does include medication coverage may be a better and more cost-effective option for you – even if the monthly premiums are higher.

Since the ACA was implemented six years ago, the hospitals of the Desert Care Network have been committed to helping residents of our communities better understand their Covered California insurance options and get the coverage that’s right for them.

Our three hospitals – Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs, JFK Memorial Hospital in Indio and Hi-Desert Medical Center in Joshua Tree – offer certified enrollment counselors, free of charge. We make these staff available year-round, not only to our patients, but to any member of the community who needs help understanding the options that are available to them and their families through Covered California.

These trained counselors will assist you in any way they can. They are available for an in-person appointment at the hospitals to answer your questions and help you with the enrollment process. You may also reach one of our trained counselors at the following numbers:

  • Desert Regional Medical Center – (760) 323.6156 or (760) 323.6443
  • JFK Memorial Hospital – (760) 775.8418 or (760) 323.6443
  • Hi-Desert Medical Center – (760) 366.4370 or (760) 323.6443

Open enrollment for the Covered California health insurance marketplace runs from Oct. 15, 2018, through Jan. 15, 2019. Enrollment counselors are available for in-person appointments from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at Desert Regional, and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday at JFK and Hi-Desert.

We’re proud to offer this important resource to residents of the Coachella Valley and Morongo Basin as Desert Care Network’s promise is “advanced care, close to home, devoted to everyone’s health.” Providing this service is a reminder that by working together we can all enjoy the benefits of a healthier community.

Michele Finney serves as CEO of Desert Regional Medical Center and as Market CEO of Desert Care Network. Desert Care Network accepts a wide range of public and private insurance coverage.

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