Freeman leads Health Insurance Marketplace education

Monday, September 16, 2013 - Freeman leads Health Insurance Marketplace education
JOPLIN, Mo.—Missouri Foundation for Health has awarded Freeman Health System an “Expanding Coverage” grant to help southwest Missouri consumers better understand health insurance stipulations mandated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that take effect January 1, 2014. In partnership with other local organizations, Freeman will use this $249,191 grant to employ a highly trained team to provide awareness, outreach, and health insurance enrollment to residents of Barton, Jasper, Newton, and McDonald counties.

In order to facilitate enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace—a provision of the ACA that allows residents to compare and purchase health insurance—Freeman is collaborating with Cover Missouri, a statewide coalition. According to the ACA, consumers must have health insurance coverage by January 1, 2014, to avoid paying penalties.

Through the grant, consumers in the four-county area will be educated about the Health Insurance Marketplace, learn details about tax credits for businesses employing fewer than 100 people, and find help navigating the online health insurance enrollment process.

According to 2010 census data, approximately 20 percent of the population in the four-county area covered by this grant is uninsured.

“Our goal is to help educate those in our community about insurance options that will now be available,” said Paula Baker, Freeman Health System President and Chief Executive Officer. “Through this grant, our team will help consumers find health coverage that best meets their needs.”

The Health Insurance Marketplace opens October 1, 2013. Consumers with questions can seek answers by emailing or calling 417.347.8888 or 855.355.PLAN(7526).

About Freeman Health System
Based in Joplin, Mo., and proudly recognized as the Best Hospital in southwest Missouri—as well as ranked #4 in the state—by US News & World Report, Freeman Health System provides comprehensive healthcare and behavioral health services, including cancer care, heart and vascular care, neurosciences, orthopaedics, and women’s services. The area’s only locally owned, not-for-profit health system, Freeman has more than 300 physicians representing 60 specialties serving southwest Missouri, southeast Kansas, northeast Oklahoma, and northwest Arkansas. For more information, visit or, or follow Freeman President and Chief Executive Officer Paula Baker at

About Missouri Foundation for Health
Missouri Foundation for Health is an independent philanthropic foundation dedicated to improving the health of the people in our region. MFH works as a changemaker, educator, and partner to promote community health and increase access to care for the uninsured and the underserved.