WV Connect Offers Health Insurance For Those Whose Employer Don’t Offer That Benefit

Marlinton and Durbin, WV – Despite health care reform, almost everyone knows someone who works, but doesn’t have health insurance through their employer. A new West Virginia program called WV Connect wants to help those who find themselves in this situation.

WV Connect provides free primary healthcare services to West Virginians who are working, but have no health insurance. Community Care of West Virginia (CCWV) applied for this new state program and was awarded several hundred slots in local communities across the state. Two locations in Pocahontas County will offer the program – the Northern Pocahontas County Health Clinic in Durbin and Community Care of Marlinton.

In order to qualify for the program, applicants must be working and have been uninsured in the last six months. Those who have participated in the Preventive and Primary Care Pilot program in the last six months are not eligible for this program. Cheryl Topper says there are no income guidelines for the program. However, she says if your income of more than 200% of Federal Poverty Level guidelines, other fees may apply.

“If your income is higher than the amount listed on the [Federal] Poverty Level chart all you pay is an annual fee of $30.00 a year” says Topper “and then after that everything is free when you come in to see the doctor; your visits are free. And if you’re below that poverty level, then everything is free. All you need to do is come into the clinic and get an application and fill it out and bring us in proof of income and we’ll get you on the program.”

The slots are available at both clinics on a first-come, first-serve basis, and once they’re gone, no more will be available. Topper says there is another restriction to this program.

“This is only for the person that’s working in the household” says Topper. “You know I would work, but my husband doesn’t; he’s not eligible for it because he doesn’t work.”

Nor does it apply to children, usually covered under other Federal programs.

Topper says they’ve been taking applications for the program for about a week and have received quite a few. You don’t have to appointment to apply for the program.

“They can come in and get the application and fill it out” she says. “Then we go through our system and then they send them out a note to let them know they’ve been approved for the program. We’ve had a lot of people sign up so if anyone’s interested they really need to come in either one of the clinics and get an application and we’ll get it processed as fast as we can.”

For more information about the WV Connect healthcare program, call the Northern Pocahontas County Health clinic at 304-456-5115 or Community Care of Marlinton at 304-799-4404.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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