Health Care Blog
- Posted byon March 30, 2014 at 4:43 PM EDT
I saw it firsthand today: The surge of folks across the country getting covered ahead of the March 31 deadline is continuing.
Today, I stopped by a D.C. Health Link faith-based enrollment event -- put on by a community that's played a key role in efforts to educate and enroll District residents, small businesses, and their employees.
It was really inspiring to see -- and it was just one of hundreds of events happening around the country this weekend.
Take a look at a couple photos from that event -- and a few more from events happening this weekend. If you're getting covered yourself, share a photo of your own.
And, of course, if you still need coverage, visit HealthCare.gov right now and get yourself signed up.
- Posted byon March 29, 2014 at 2:06 PM EDT
The line started forming at 5 a.m. in front of an enrollment center in Miami -- where trained workers have signed up 25,000 of their fellow Floridians since November. It was standing-room-only at a center in Houston yesterday.
The final deadline to get covered in 2014 is in just two days, and Americans are literally lining up at grassroots events across the country to make sure they're covered.
This is what momentum looks like.
Take a look at some of the photos folks are sending in from events around the country -- and if you like, share one of your own.
And if you still need health insurance, go to HealthCare.gov right now, submit an application, and get yourself signed up.
Las Vegas, NV:
- Posted byon March 28, 2014 at 2:46 PM EDT
Mark D. Bearden is a retired psychologist living in Monroe, North Carolina. In February, he wrote a letter to the President letting him know what the Affordable Care Act has meant to him. The message below was sent to the White House email list today.
Didn't get the email? Be sure to sign up here.
I am a staunch Republican, a self-proclaimed Fox News addict, and I didn't vote for the President. And I'm here to tell you that Obamacare works. I'm living proof.
I'm a chemotherapy patient, and was previously paying $428 a month for my health coverage. I was not thrilled when it was cancelled.
Then I submitted an application at HealthCare.gov. I looked at my options. And I signed up for a plan for $62 a month.
It's the best health care I have ever had.
So right now, here's what I want to tell anyone who still needs health insurance, or knows someone who does:
I wrote a letter to President Obama this past February to tell him about my experience with the Health Insurance Marketplace. I hoped he'd read it, and he did.
I may not be a supporter of the President. But now, I get mad when I see Obamacare dragged through the mud on television.
And even though I regularly tune in to conservative pundits, I'd like to tell them they're getting it wrong. Obamacare works.
It just might change your life.
Mark D. Bearden, Ph.D.
Monroe, North Carolina
- Posted byon March 28, 2014 at 10:33 AM EDT
Did you know that 8 out of 10 Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders may be eligible for financial assistance through the Health Insurance Marketplace?*
Given the importance of having health insurance within the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, last week the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI), White House Office of Public Engagement, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and many AAPI community leaders held an AAPI Enrollment Week of Action.
In a final push, we’re working to make sure our community is well informed about the Affordable Care Act and enrolls in the Health Insurance Marketplace before the deadline on March 31, 2014. If you do not have health insurance and don’t enroll by March 31, you may not be able to get health insurance again until next year. Just call 1-800-318-2596 or visit HealthCare.gov to sign up.
AAPI community leaders and members have been sharing their own stories. Here are some examples of advocates encouraging our communities to #GetCovered:
MomsRising: Healthcare.gov Answered My Prayers—Maly Xiong, Hmong American entrepreneur and mother of six
“Living in the one of the richest countries in the world without health coverage can be very stressful. Every night I prayed that my children wouldn’t get sick because we did not have health insurance. I would tell my children not to run around too much to avoid getting injured because we did not have health insurance. When my children participated in school sports, I told them not to play too hard for fear that they might get injured and I wouldn’t have the money to pay for the medical bills. Can you imagine, as a mother, telling your children not to play?...Receiving health insurance has been a blessing.”
AsianWeek: Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to Benefit from the Affordable Care Act—Dr. Howard K. Koh, Assistant Secretary for Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
“As a physician for over 30 years, I have seen the patient benefits of having health insurance as well as the problems of lacking it. Nearly one in five Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) does not have health insurance. Without insurance, AAPIs may have a harder time accessing critical health care, putting them at greater risk of chronic and preventable diseases, such a hepatitis B and certain cancers.”
Also in: Korea Times
Korea Daily: Korean Americans to Benefit from the Affordable Care Act—Dr. Howard K. Koh, Assistant Secretary for Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
“For the Korean American community, one in three individuals lacks health insurance. In addition, Korean Americans are at risk for many preventable diseases, such as stomach and liver cancer. The good news is that the Affordable Care Act provides Korean Americans new options for affordable health coverage that covers a range of benefits, including important preventive services with no out-of-pocket costs for millions of Americans.”
“한인 커뮤니티에는 3명 중 1명이 건강보험이 없다. 반면 한인들은 위암과 간암 등 예방이 가능한 질병에 걸릴 위험이 높다. 반갑게도 오바마케어(Affordable Care Act) 건강보험법은 이러한 한인들에게 저렴한 가격으로 다양한 의료혜택을 받을 수 있게 하는 옵션을 제공하고 있다.”
Also in: KoreAm
NW Asian Weekly: Chinese Americans to Benefit from the Affordable Care Act—Daphne Kwok, Chair of the President’s Advisory Commission on AAPIs
“Betty Li, a young Chinese American woman from Philadelphia, PA is one of them. She stopped by her neighborhood community-based organization, Southeast Asian Mutual Assistance Associations Coalition (SEAMAAC) in south Philadelphia after hearing that she could receive enrollment assistance there. Betty works at a small business that doesn’t offer health insurance so both her husband and she have been living without coverage. SEAMAAC, a certified navigator, helped her apply for and enroll in a marketplace plan for both her husband and herself. They will now pay less than a dollar a month for their coverage.”
India Journal: Indian-Americans to Benefit from the Affordable Care Act—Kiran Ahuja, Executive Director of WHIAAPI, and Gautam Raghavan, Advisor at the White House Office of Public Engagement
“Ms. Patel from Phoenix, Arizona, is one of them. She had previously been denied private health insurance because she had a pre-existing health condition. When she fell and had to go to the hospital for care, she ended up with a bill of over $1000. After the Affordable Care Act went into effect, she went to Asian Pacific Community in Action (APCA) to get help from a certified navigator to enroll in the Health Insurance Marketplace. With APCA’s in-person and assistance available in Hindi, she learned that she now qualified for health insurance through the expansion of Medicaid. Now she has peace of mind and a renewed hope for the future.”
Asian Journal: Getting to the Heart of the Communities in Nevada to Help AAPIs #GetCovered—Rozita Lee, Member of the President’s Advisory Commission on AAPIs and certified navigator
“One of my most memorable successes was with a group of Bhutanese refugees who had been in Nevada for several years and were green card holders and permanent residents, but living without health insurance. With interpreters, our team provided assistance in Dzongkha, the official Bhutanese language, helping them successfully enroll in NevadaHealthLink for health insurance. Speaking in a person's language helps them open up and feel comfortable. It was gratifying to see their faces when they realized that they can be insured. To see that sigh of relief and the smile on their faces, knowing that we have helped alleviate their concerns about healthcare, is worth all the time and energy we dedicate to outreach and enrollment.”
Pakistan Link: Pakistani Americans to Benefit from the Affordable Care Act—Dilawar Syed, Member of the President’s Advisory Commission on AAPIs
“More than 22 percent of Pakistani Americans do not have health insurance, a rate much higher than the national average. That’s why the Affordable Care Act is so important to the Pakistani American community. It will help those without health insurance get affordable coverage and provides new benefits and protections for millions of Americans, including Pakistani Americans.”
Viet Bao Daily: Vietnamese Americans to Benefit from the Affordable Care Act—Dr. Tung Nguyen, Member of the President’s Advisory Commission on AAPIs
“The good news is that the Affordable Care Act provides Vietnamese Americans new options for affordable health coverage that covers a range of benefits, including important preventive services with no out-of-pocket costs for millions of Americans, including the Vietnamese American community. Early cancer screenings and smoking cessation interventions are just some of the free preventive services provided by health plans through the Health Insurance Marketplace.”
“Luật Cải Tổ Y Tế sẽ giúp người Mỹ gốc Việt có được bảo hiểm với giá phải chăng và nhiều sự lựa chọn bao gồm những dịch vụ phòng bệnh mà không phải trả phí trực tiếp. Dò tìm ung thư sớm và can thiệp cai thuốc lá là một số các dịch vụ phòng ngừa miễn phí được cung cấp bởi các chương trình bảo hiểm y tế thông qua Thị trường bảo hiểm y tế.”
Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, nearly 2 million uninsured AAPIs now have the ability to get health coverage. We also applaud our community partners in Illinois, Minnesota, New York, and Georgia for holding enrollment summits during the Week of Action. These summits were instrumental in helping hundreds of AAPIs receive in-person assistance, in 17 different languages, and sign up for health insurance. However, there is still a lot more work that needs to be done in the final days left, so spread the word to our neighbors and communities by March 31!
If you or someone you care about is uninsured, it’s not too late to sign up for quality, affordable coverage – but you’ll want to act today and before March 31. If you don’t enroll by March 31, you may not be able to get health insurance again until next year.
Sign up today online at HealthCare.gov; over the phone with help available in 150 languages at the 24/7 call center at 1-800-318-2596; or directly through an issuer, agent, or broker. You can also find in-person assistance in your community at localhelp.healthcare.gov.
* This fact can be found in the report released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on March 18, 2014.
Kiran Ahuja is Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
- 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.