Health Care Blog
- Posted byon March 27, 2014 at 7:00 PM EDT
Today -- with just four days left to sign up for health insurance -- the White House joined the BuzzFeed Community by laying out seven reasons why Vice President Biden thinks you should get covered. In GIFs.
Folks, the deadline to sign up for health insurance is March 31. If you’re not covered by then, you won’t be able to enroll again until next year. So this is serious. Need some extra inspiration? Here are seven reasons why Vice President Biden thinks you should get covered right now.
Go to BuzzFeed to see all of the reasons the VP thinks you should get covered (Hint: One of them is a BFD).
- Posted byon March 27, 2014 at 5:06 PM EDT
As part of this effort, I caught up with Gail Peace, a health-care entrepreneur who recently enrolled in coverage through the Marketplaces. Gail discussed what it’s like to be a healthcare geek, and how the ACA has helped her focus on making the healthcare industry even better.
Gail, who has over 20 years of experience in health-care-related professions, was consistently denied coverage on the individual insurance market because of preexisting conditions. Along with her husband, who is self-employed, Gail obtained COBRA coverage after the pair decided to start their own company. After an allotted period, their COBRA coverage expired, and for several months, Gail and her husband were forced to go without health insurance before the Affordable Care Act (ACA) went into effect and they were able to enroll.
Because of the opportunities available in the ACA marketplace, Gail and her husband were able to purchase a high quality plan and turn their attention to the task of growing their business.
Gail is President and CEO of Ludi Inc, a company that helps hospitals and health systems to coordinate business operations and manage physician activities with compliance requirements.
What does having affordable healthcare mean to you?
I believe healthcare should be available to all people. Under no circumstance should a health-related event bankrupt an individual or family. Period.
Why do you consider yourself a geek?
I started Ludi Inc., a software as a service company, in the summer of 2012. Our first product, was a technology that physicians use to track time worked on contacts in real-time. The contracts are typically administrative in nature, through which a hospital is pays a physician an hourly rate for work performed. We help organizations streamline the processing of and reporting on physician payments.
I had the idea to build this product in my former job as Vice President of Business Development for a four-hospital system in Chicago. Tracking these complex agreements was challenging, and if not done timely, created dissatisfaction amongst physicians. As physicians are referral sources to hospitals, care must be taken to make sure the contract is followed exactly to avoid compliance risks. The purpose is to help minimize compliance exposure using technology.
- Posted byon March 26, 2014 at 6:27 PM EDT
An important deadline is coming up for all Americans, including the LGBT community: March 31 is the end of the open enrollment period for individuals to sign up for health care in the state and federal Marketplaces. If you miss the deadline, you may not be able to get health insurance again until next year.
The Affordable Care Act has the potential to improve the health and well-being of the LGBT community for generations to come. (Here’s how.) Many LGBT individuals across the country have signed up for coverage — and they’re already seeing the benefits.
- Posted byon March 26, 2014 at 12:00 PM EDT
There are only 5 days left to get health insurance coverage for 2014 at HealthCare.gov before open enrollment ends on March 31. If you haven’t signed up yet, the President wants you to get covered today.
As the President says, “No one’s invincible. We all get sick, or get into accidents. Life happens. But you should never have to worry you’ll lose everything to medical bills. That’s why health insurance is so important.”
And if you already have health insurance, tell your friends, family, and co-workers that they need to get covered, too. Visit WH.gov/GetCovered for tips on how to spread the word.
- Posted byon March 25, 2014 at 12:18 PM EDT
For the past eight years, Maly Xiong, a Hmong-American entrepreneur and single mom, was uninsured because she could not afford health insurance. Every night she prayed that her children wouldn’t get sick because they did not have health insurance. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, Maly was able to finally sign up for health insurance. Maly and her six children are now insured, healthy, and free from worry. “Getting covered has been a blessing,” she said.
Stories such as Maly’s make the March 31 Affordable Care Act open enrollment deadline even more critical for the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community to take action and get AAPIs enrolled in health coverage.
This is exactly what the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI), the White House Office of Public Engagement, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), along with many passionate community leaders, did during the AAPI Enrollment Week of Action last week. Through collaboration between federal agencies and AAPI community leaders, the message was clear: #GetCovered.
Kicking off the week, HHS released a report that announced eight out of 10 uninsured Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders may be eligible for financial assistance in the Health Insurance Marketplace. The White House also released a new infographic about AAPIs and the ACA:
During the week, I was honored to participate in a community conference call with Vice President Joe Biden to personally thank the many Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islanders leaders from national, state, and local community organizations who are working hard to educate the AAPI community about the importance of the ACA.
I was also excited to participate in a Google+ Hangout with actor Maulik Pancholy; Meena Seshamani, Deputy Director of the HHS Office of Health Reform; and Gautam Raghavan, Advisor for the White House Office on Public Engagement. We highlighted the important benefits of signing up for the Health Insurance Marketplace:
During AAPI Enrollment Week of Action, we re-released the White House Initiative on Asian American and Pacific Islanders’ series of in-language Google+ Hangouts on the Affordable Care Act. This series included Google+ Hangouts in Korean, Vietnamese, and Chinese (Mandarin).
And people across the country, including celebrities and community leaders, helped get the word out both on the ground and online.
— Michelle Kwan (@MichelleWKwan) March 20, 2014
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) March 16, 2014
— Maulik Pancholy (@MaulikPancholy) March 19, 2014
Community organizations in Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, and New York hosted enrollment events to walk individuals through the process of signing up for health coverage. For example, in Atlanta, Georgia, the Center for Pan Asian Community Services held an AAPI Enrollment Summit with over 40 assistors who spoke 16 languages available to provide in-person and in-language enrollment assistance for local community members.
I would like to thank every individual who has helped with outreach and enrollment efforts in your neighborhoods and communities. Our simple actions are part of a larger movement for the overall health and well-being of the AAPI community.
With only a few days left of open enrollment, please continue to direct members of the community to HealthCare.gov and to the 24/7 call center, available in over 150 languages, at 1-800-318-2596.
Dr. Howard K. Koh is Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
- Posted byon March 24, 2014 at 4:32 PM EDT
Today is the National Tribal Day of Action for Affordable Care Act Enrollment. Over 65 events are being hosted in tribal communities across the nation and President Obama wants to ensure that every American Indian and Alaska Native has the information they need to take advantage of new health care options available under the health care law.
The new health care law is another way the federal government is honoring its trust responsibility and obligations to Tribes. Ensuring that additional health care options are available for all Native Americans is simply another step in our ongoing efforts to promote well-being and economic prosperity in Indian Country.
Many Native Americans currently use an Indian Health Service (IHS) or tribal health facility and that is not changing. But private health insurance offers new protections. Taking advantage of the new health insurance options provided by the Affordable Care Act can give American Indian and Alaska Native families the peace of mind of knowing they have comprehensive health insurance, even outside of the IHS system.
Many American Indians and Alaska Natives who have signed up for health insurance coverage report that they were surprised at just how affordable it can be to get covered. Many are eligible for assistance to lower or even eliminate their monthly insurance premiums. And, if you’re a member of a federally recognized Tribe and you choose to buy a private health insurance plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace, you may not have to pay any out-of-pocket costs like co-pays or deductibles. Many American Indian and Alaska Native families are also finding that they are now eligible for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Overall, this can add up to more reliable and more comprehensive health care at little to no cost.
Today, you can visit a tribal health care enrollment event from Oklahoma to Alaska. Step into the Alaska Native Medical Center for an event hosted by the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium or visit Rapid City Regional Hospital where the Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Health Board staff can walk you through the enrollment process. Across the country tribal communities and urban Indian organizations are partnering to help American Indians and Alaska Natives get covered.
But you need to act to ensure that you and your family fully benefit from the new health care law. Every American Indian and Alaska Native should learn more about how the Affordable Care Act can benefit them as soon as possible. The best way to review your options is to go to HealthCare.gov. You can also visit your local IHS or tribal clinic, or you can call 1-800-318-2596.
David Agnew is the White House Director of Intergovernmental Affairs