If you live in southeastern Kentucky, you’ve probably visited at least one of the 10 hospitals that make up the Appalachian Regional Healthcare system. If you’ve never had any problems with your doctor, insurance, or health care providers, you may not be able to expect the same service in the future—especially if you received a recent ARH flyer on the Affordable Care Act.
Authorities Have Spotted Several Problems With the Flyer
- Misleading language. The flyer claims that, "consistent with the Affordable Care Act, Appalachian Regional Healthcare, Inc. will no longer see patients for non-emergent services without insurance coverage effective Jan. 1, 2014.” However, there is no portion of the Affordable Care Act that says doctors may refuse treatment to uninsured patients.
- Incorrect dates. The pamphlet states that “in order to ensure your coverage is effective January 1, 2014 you must enroll in a health plan by November 30, 2013,” when in fact the actual deadline date for coverage beginning January 1 is December 23. Appalachian Regional Healthcare CEO Joe Grossman admits that he selected the November 30 deadline to avoid patients signing up for insurance at the last minute. The final federal deadline for enrollment is March 31, 2014.
- Inaccurate web address. The flyer urges patients to go to www.kynect.com to enroll in an insurance plan, but the actual web address is Kynect.ky.gov.
Grossman said that although the pamphlet contains several mistakes and misleading information, the flyers will continue to be dispersed in order to urge patients to sign up for Obamacare as soon as possible. However, ARH hospitals in Kentucky and West Virginia are in the poorest areas of the nation, leaving them no option but to continue to get the majority of their health care through the emergency room.
The important thing to remember is that no hospital may turn away uninsured patients under the rules of the Affordable Care Act—including ARH. If you were refused medical care or suffered due to mistreatment at Appalachian Regional Hospital, you have a right to compensation. Call our offices today to find out if you have a case, or click on the related links on this page to get the important facts about medical malpractice claims.