The Affordable Care Act is here! Some refer to it as Obama Care, but call it what you may, enrollment has begun as of October 1st, 2013.
Citizens and lawful residents who do not have insurance coverage will be encouraged to visit the health marketplace and begin to shop for the type of coverage that is appropriate for their needs. It may sound simple, but, from speaking to members of our community, we know there is much confusion! It may not be as simple as people think to determine their needs and how best to protect themselves and their family.
It is extremely important that folks have someone or some agency advocating for them and assisting them with their health care choices. There are Market Place Guides and Navigators who have been trained to communicate & educate the residents of DE on this important initiative.
These groups of professionals will assist anyone and everyone on their options, why it is important to enroll, whether they qualify for government assisted health care or an affordable plan customized for their individual needs and that of their families.
We must be ready to educate people about the Affordable Care Act and to use multiple means of communications to reach those who may be the most vulnerable when it comes to getting the health care they need. No Fear, Help is Here!
Under the Affordable Care Act, the days of citizens and families not having health insurance are over. Now, in theory, everyone must have health insurance and everyone must accept their responsibility for paying for health insurance. Those who previously had no health insurance must purchase health care insurance or face a penalty imposed by the Federal government.
Local Exchanges are in place and will assist in performing outreach, educating the community, and assisting with enrollment. These exchanges consist of West Side Health, Brandywine Valley Health Associates, Delmarva Foundation, Christiana Care, and the Chatman, LLC, all will be working throughout the State, and with the Department of Health to seek the attention of uninsured residents, many of whom may not even know that some very importance decisions await them over the next few months.
How does the new requirement for health insurance affect my Medicare or Medicaid? Is my income too high or too low in order for me to shop for insurance in the health care marketplace? How much coverage do I need?
These are but a few of the questions and concerns that confront citizens who today are either short-term or long-term uninsured individuals, but will soon join the ranks of the insured.
Small Businesses must also adhere to guidelines and provide health insurance, however, if they do not meet the set requirement they do not have to purchase and offer insurance.
However, they are obligated to educate and inform their employees of the options available to them. There are tax credits for those who qualify, and they can still purchase affordable insurance on a voluntarily basis.
As a public official and as a federal navigator working with the Chatman, LLC Group, and collaborating with the local exchanges, I will do everything I can to encourage area churches and organizations to work reach the people in our community who will benefit from their guidance and support.
We must not let this new phase of health insurance coverage be an excuse for anyone to drop even further down the ladder of opportunity when it comes to staying healthy or seeking treatment for health-related issues, especially our Hispanic Community.
My greatest fear is that those who have never had health care, many of whom are already not keeping up with their health-care needs, will fall further back. We cannot let that happen.
In the words of Martin Luther King “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in healthcare is the most shocking and inhumane”
Please call myself, or any of the local exchanges to set up an educational session or enrollment.