Tag: Obamacare

Open Enrollment: 5 Things You Need To Know

Thanks to the efforts of millions of Americans around the country, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) remains the law of the land and young children and their families can still get the health insurance they need to thrive.

That means that on Wednesday, November 1 those that need comprehensive health insurance coverage that begins on January 1, 2018 can purchase it—often with significant financial help—through HealthCare.gov and state marketplaces.

Don’t let the headlines detract from this fact: moms and babies need health insurance to access critical services that are vital during the first 1,000 days—and it is available!

While we must remain vigilant to defend health care from ongoing threats, we also need to ensure that everyone who needs health insurance gets signed up. Soon, millions of Americans will be able to go to HealthCare.gov to choose a health plan that meets their needs. Leading up to and during open enrollment, we all must get the word out and help ensure people get covered.

Here are the top five things you need to know about open enrollment:

    1. Open Enrollment starts on November 1 and ends on December 15!

      Need health insurance for 2018? You must enroll between November 1 and December 15, 2017.This is the only time in the year to purchase health insurance through the Marketplace (other than in some very limited special life changes). So it’s important to get enrolled during this limited, open enrollment window! Coverage purchased during open enrollment begins January 1, 2018.

    2. HealthCare.gov (or your state’s marketplace) has information about the health plans available in your area.

      If you want to see what coverage options are available in your community, HealthCare.gov or your state marketplace has the information you need. Starting November 1, 2017, you can enroll in a plan that meets your health needs and the needs of your family. And coverage could be more affordable than you think. For many, significant financial help is available based on income and family status. Health insurance plans also offer help paying out-of-pocket expenses for some families. These subsidies are all still available to consumers and have not been impacted by any of the recent debates in Washington, DC.

    3. Shop around!

      Take some time to compare health plans in your area and understand what coverage options are available. HealthCare.gov or your state’s marketplace make it easy to do this. Understanding the differences among the plans is important and can help you choose the best option for your family. You may be able to even save some money!

    4. Help is available. So ask for it!

      Free expert help is available. If you have questions about signing up or want to talk through your options with a trained professional, free help is available online, over the phone, or in person. They can help answer your questions and assist with filling out the paperwork. To find a professional in your area, check out localhelp.healthcare.gov or call 1-800-318-2596.

    5. Spread the word!

      Know someone who needs health coverage? Spread the word! Open enrollment is just 45 days this year—and outreach efforts are limited. Please share this information with anyone you know who needs health insurance. We all can help ensure our family, friends and co-workers get connected and enrolled in the health coverage they need.

5 Reasons Why The Latest Effort To Repeal The Affordable Care Act Is Bad For Moms And Babies

While the future of the Senate Republican’s latest effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is uncertain, one thing is very clear – the Graham-Cassidy bill is bad for moms and babies.

Here’s why:

  1. Maternity, newborn and pediatric care are at risk.
    States would be able to waive the essential health benefits – like prenatal, maternity and pediatric care – currently covered under the ACA. That’s why even physician groups like the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) are strongly opposing the bill.

    Essentially, this bill could mean a return to a pre-ACA health system when 75% of plans on the individual market did not include maternity coverage. Women would be left to decide between going without needed health services or paying out-of-pocket. That’s a decision no women should be forced to make.

  2. Women could pay more for less health coverage.
    Health plans could charge more for comprehensive coverage. This means more women would be forced to choose between buying cheap bare-bones insurance packages that don’t cover their needs – and paying out-of-pocket for other services (like maternity care) – or paying exorbitant prices for health plans that provide the coverage they need.

    We’d be stepping back in time, before the passage of the ACA, when women could be charged more for their health insurance just because they are women.

  3. Pregnancy could become a pre-existing condition (again).
    Insurers would be able to decide what is – and is not – a pre-existing condition, and then charge more accordingly. Just like before the passage of the ACA, women could be denied coverage (or charged a lot more) for health insurance just for having given birth or being of child-bearing age.

    In fact, according to the Center for American Progress, insurers could charge pregnant women over $17,000 more, putting health insurance out of reach for millions of women – right when they need it the most.

  4. The Medicaid program would be gutted.
    About one TRILLION dollars in federal funding for Medicaid would be cut. Medicaid is a critical source of health insurance for millions of low- and middle-income people. As the largest insurance program for women, it covers the cost of nearly half of all America’s births.

    Without Medicaid, women would become uninsured and lose access to the comprehensive health coverage that they desperately need. For those who could keep their Medicaid insurance, their coverage would likely shrink as states replace comprehensive health services with bare-bones coverage for maternity and infant health services.

  5. It hurts working families the most.
    The bill would end the financial assistance that makes purchasing health insurance possible for millions of America’s middle-income families. It repeals subsidies within ACA – subsidies that currently 85% of people purchasing insurance coverage on the marketplace receive.Coupled with the proposed cuts to Medicaid, the Graham-Cassidy bill would leave millions of Americans without their health insurance, according to analysis from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

Graham-Cassidy is not the health care plan that America’s moms and babies—and thus the country as a whole—need. It is time for all Members of Congress from both parties to work together to ensure women, infants and young children have access to comprehensive and affordable health care they need to thrive.

It’s Time to Work Together on Health Care

We at 1,000 Days are encouraged that members of the U.S. Senate put the health and well-being of Americans ahead of politics. We thank all the senators who voted to stop the rushed effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – which would have stripped 16 million Americans of their health insurance according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office. In particular, we commend Senators Collins, Murkowski and McCain for their courageous votes and calls for bipartisan negotiations through regular and deliberative Senate procedure.

We now urge all Members of Congress from both parties to work together to support and stabilize the health insurance markets and to build on current law to ensure women, infants and young children have access to comprehensive and affordable health care.