Health Care Blog
- Posted byon February 14, 2014 at 4:57 PM EDT
Yesterday, First Lady Michelle Obama sent the message below to the White House email list, urging Americans across the country to visit HealthCare.gov and get covered.
Didn't get the email? Join millions of other Americans and make sure you're in the loop.
As a mom, I know life gets busy. Most folks already have way too much on their plates -- they shouldn't have to worry about health care coverage, too.
We all deserve the security that comes from having health coverage that's there for us -- that we can count on when we need it most.
And if you're already covered, make sure the people you love are covered, too.
Millions of moms, dads, and Americans across the country have already picked out affordable plans that work for them. They've done this because they know that life throws you plenty of curveballs. That's what getting covered is all about: being ready for whatever comes your way.
This isn't about politics -- it's about peace of mind for you and for your family.
And if you're already covered, I need your help: Forward this message to a friend or loved one who needs to see it and make sure they've signed up for health insurance, too.
Our health -- and the health of our families -- depends on it.
First Lady Michelle Obama
- Posted byon February 13, 2014 at 2:38 PM EDT
We never know what curveballs life is going to throw at us. But we do know that those curveballs come. That’s why it’s so important that we all sign up for health insurance and get our friends and family to sign up too.
As part of our ongoing efforts to educate Latinos about the benefits and protections under the Affordable Care Act and encourage them to sign up for health coverage, President Obama recorded a video message for the Latino community. Check out the message and hear the President talk about the tools available to help you and your “amigos, familia and vecinos” #GetCovered
Just this week, the Department of Health and Human Services released a report showing that the majority of Latinos could get a break on costs in the Health Insurance Marketplace. Nearly 8 in 10 uninsured Latinos may qualify for Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or lower costs on monthly premiums through the Health Insurance Marketplace. For example, a 27 year old with an income of $25,000 living in Miami, Florida could pay as little as $87 for a bronze plan under the Affordable Care Act. In Houston, Texas he or she could pay as little as $99 after factoring in premium tax credits.
- Posted byon February 13, 2014 at 2:00 PM EDT
This Valentine's Day, share the word and help make sure your friends, family and loved ones get covered today at healthcare.gov.
Share the graphics below with your social networks, or share your own message with the hashtag #ACAValentines.
- Posted byon February 6, 2014 at 1:47 PM EDT
This week has seen the release of a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis that refuted claims by opponents of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that it is a “job killer” and demonstrated that, by giving families more options for obtaining affordable health insurance outside the workplace, the ACA will make it easier for people take a risk and start a business, take time out of the labor force to raise a family, or retire when they are ready.
As CBO made clear, however, its analysis was not a comprehensive analysis of how the ACA will affect the labor market in particular or the economy as a whole. This blog post illustrates six ways that the ACA is helping the labor market, laying the foundation for future economic growth, and improving families’ financial security and well-being.
1.Putting more money in families’ pockets, boosting demand, and bringing down unemployment today. As of January 1, more than 2 million people had selected a plan in the health insurance marketplace, and nearly 80 percent of those people will – thanks to the ACA – benefit from tax credits to help pay their premiums. All told, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that over the entirety of 2014, 5 million people will benefit from premium tax credits and help with cost-sharing averaging $4,700 per person. In 2015, 11 million people are estimated to benefit, rising to 19 million in 2016. Many millions more will gain affordable health insurance coverage through Medicaid.
These provisions of the ACA make it easier for families to access health care services and to meet other pressing needs, which will increase the demand for goods and services throughout the economy at a time when the unemployment rate is still elevated. For this reason, as CBO Director Doug Elmendorf testified, the ACA “spurs employment and would reduce unemployment over the next few years.” The ACA is thus – today – helping ensure that every American who wants a job can find one.
2. Helping slow the growth of health care costs, boosting hiring in the near term, and bolstering workers’ paychecks. The United States is currently experiencing a historic slowdown in the growth of health care costs. From 2010 to 2012 real per-capita health spending grew at an average annual rate of just 1.1 percent, and preliminary data and projections imply that this slow growth continued in 2013. The spending growth rates recorded over the last few years are the slowest on record, and less than one-third the long-term historical average of 4.6 percent that stretches back to 1960.
- Posted byon February 6, 2014 at 11:12 AM EDT
On January 23, 2014, the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI) held a Google Hangout in Chinese to discuss the Health Insurance Marketplace. Viewers tuned in from around the country, and Chinese American community groups gathered in California, Georgia, Missouri, Pennsylvania, and Texas to participate in the discussion.
The Department of Health and Human Services’ Winnie Cheung and Jerry Zee responded to a broad array of questions about the Health Insurance Marketplace, which opened on October 1, including eligibility requirements, enrollment start dates, authorized navigators, and resources for in-language assistance.
This Google Hangout is part of WHIAAPI’s larger series of in-language Google Hangouts, aimed at filling the tremendous need of educating limited English proficient populations on the Affordable Care Act. WHIAAPI has hosted similar educational Hangouts in Korean and Vietnamese.
Nearly 1 in 5 Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) do not have health insurance. Two million AAPIs are projected to become insured thanks to the Affordable Care Act. For AAPIs, the law’s benefits will help reduce disparities in both health care and health outcomes through expanded insurance coverage and better access to high-quality health care services.
The turnout at the Chinese-language Google Hangout and the enthusiasm of the participants shows the importance of engaging with the AAPI limited English proficient community on the Affordable Care Act in the languages they speak.
Audrey Buehring is the Deputy Director at the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
一场关于白宫亚太裔计划 (WHIAAPI) 的中文 Google 环聊将在 2014 年 1 月 23 日举行，讨论 医疗保险市场 (Health Insurance Marketplace)。来自全国各地的受众和美籍华人社区团体云集在加利福尼亚州，佐治亚州，密苏里州，宾夕法尼亚州和得克萨斯州，以便加入讨论。
在 10 月 1 日，卫生及公共服务部的 Winnie Cheung 和 Jerry Zee 针对一系列关于医疗保险市场的问题做出了回答，包括资格要求、登记开始日期、授权的导航和各个语种的帮助资源。
大约有五分之一的亚裔美国人和太平洋岛民 (AAPIs) 没有医疗保险。两百万的亚裔美国人和太平洋岛民因《平价医疗法案》而加入计划，成为投保群体。对于亚裔美国人和太平洋岛民而言，在扩大了承保范围并优化高品质的医疗保健服务的提供之后，法律给予的福利将有助于减少医疗保健和医疗结果的差异。
中文 Google 环聊的出席者和参与者的热情体现了英语程度有限的 AAPI 群体以他们各自的母语共同学习《平价医疗法案》的重要性。
Audrey Buehring 现就职于白宫亚太裔计划的副处长。
2014年1月23日，亞裔美國人和太平洋島民白宮倡議 (WHIAAPI) 舉行了一場中文Google環聊，就健康保險交易市場進行討論。觀眾從全國各地收看了轉播，華裔美國人社區聚集在加州、喬治亞州、密蘇里州、賓州和德州參與了此項討論。
來自衛生及人類服務部門的Winnie Cheung 及 Jerry Zee回覆了各式各樣關於健康保險交易市場的問題，該市場於10月1日啟用，問題包含合乎投保資格的條件為何、加入的開始日期、合格的領航員以及各語言的資源協助。
- Posted byon February 4, 2014 at 6:50 PM EDT
Ed note: This is cross posted from the Huffington Post
We celebrate Black History Month against the backdrop of some tremendous progress, but also some very significant challenges.
As we join with President Obama in making 2014 a Year of Action, I want to take this opportunity to invite you join in a Google Hangout on Wednesday, February 5 at 3pm to discuss our progress and our challenges as they relate to health and human services in the African American community. I'll be joined by Shavon Arline, the National Health Director for the NAACP, as well as Justin from Tampa, a 28-year-old from Tampa who is getting covered through the Health Insurance Marketplace for only $15 a month.
Because of the Affordable Care Act, millions of Americans like Justin are obtaining quality affordable health care coverage - many for the first time. What's more: 7.3 million African Americans with private insurance now have access to preventive services like cholesterol screenings, mammograms, and flu shots with no out-of-pocket expenses. 4.5 million elderly and disabled African Americans who receive coverage from Medicare have the right to things like an annual wellness visit with a personalized prevention plan. And more than 500,000 young African American adults have gained coverage because the new health care law allows them to stay on their parents' plan until their 26th birthday.
Yet, we still face shocking - and unacceptable - health disparities. African Americans are 55% more likely to be uninsured than white Americans. African Americans are twice as likely to be diagnosed with diabetes, and 40% more likely to have high blood pressure. And the infant mortality rate among African Americans is more than twice that of non-Hispanic whites.
"Of all forms of injustice," Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once told the Medical Committee for Human Rights, "injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane."
As a country, we pay dearly for these disparities. We pay in the heartbreak of the lives we have lost. And we pay in a loss of opportunity and freedom for so many of our fellow Americans.
You see, without the opportunity to live a healthy life, there is no opportunity to live the American dream or participate fully in our communities. Without the freedom which comes from having access to quality health care, there is no freedom to reach our full potential in the workforce or watch our kids or grandkids grow up. Without the security of health insurance, there is no economic security for middle-class families, and for so many other families working their way into the middle class.
Thanks to President Obama's leadership we have very real reasons for optimism that we can do something about these disparities. An estimated 4.2 million uninsured African Americans may be eligible for financial assistance to help pay for the costs of their new coverage on the Marketplace. What's more, if every state were to expand Medicaid, 95 percent of uninsured African Americans would be eligible for assistance with a Marketplace plan, Medicaid, or CHIP.
I hope you'll join us on Wednesday.
And, let's work together to answer President Obama's call for every American who knows someone without health insurance to help them get covered by March 31. You can shop for plans and enroll online at HealthCare.gov, by phone at 1-800-318-2596, by mail, or directly through an issuer, agent or broker. You can also get in person help at https://localhelp.healthcare.gov/
Kathleen Sebelius is Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services