With open enrollment just around the corner for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, reports suggest African Americans still want to know more.
New America Media recently hosted a media briefing in San Diego entitled, “Countdown to Obamacare” the Face of Healthcare Reform in California. During the briefing, panelist Dr. Rodrigo Munoz, professor of Psychiatry of UC San Diego, stated, “Essentially, the Obama administration proposes a plan that preserves employer sponsored plans, and offers new coverage for the uninsured.”
In a nutshell, the goal is to make it easier for uninsured people with pre-existing conditions or whose employer-provided coverage is too expensive or lacks important benefits to buy their own coverage.
One option that makes health insurance more accessible is the exchange program called Covered California, an online program where Californians can compare and choose affordable health plans from established health insurance companies.
Enrollment for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, which is anticipated to affect millions of Americans, will take place between October 1st of this year, and ends on March 31st of next year.
According to a joint study conducted by UC Berkeley and UCLA, 300,000 people (70 percent of them being people of color), are expected to choose not to enroll, despite being eligible.
Meanwhile a Field Report conducted by the California Wellness Foundation suggests that although 82% of African Americans are in favor of the law, many still aren’t sure how it works.
It is important to note that there are approximately 7.1 million uninsured people in California, and all U.S. Citizens and legally residing non-citizens can enroll in Expanded Medi-Cal (California’s Medicaid, the health insurance for those who qualify as low-income.)
Here’s are some interesting facts regarding the Obama ACA Legislation you might find helpful:
1. Protects those covered by private insurance, Medical and Medicaid.
2. Offers insurance exchange programs for those who have no protection such as: Coveredca.com, which is the first state health exchange formed under the Affordable Care Act. (Note that rates are determined by: age, ZIP code and household and it expands protection for those who are already insured).
3. Employers, regardless if they already offer their employees insurance, are required by law to notify employees about the exchanges. The Department of Labor has two model notices that businesses can use depending on whether or not they offer health plans.
4. Provides protection for the young and the elderly.
5. Children are allowed to remain on their parents’ insurance policy until age 26.
6. Young adults who are part of the foster care system can remain covered until age 29. African American children are disproportionately more likely than other children to be placed in foster care. http://www.childrensrights.org/issues-resources/foster-care/facts-about-disparities-in-foster-care/
7. There is no discrimination based on the kind or the severity of illness. An insurance company can’t turn you down or charge you more because of your medical condition.
Check out a few helpful sites to help you become better informed of your rights: