By JEN LEE
Health insurance. Those two words are critically important and yet can be a scary prospect for those living without. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act (known as Obamacare), it no longer has to be that way. There are now more affordable options than ever for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (AAs and NHPIs) and their families. Here are three easy ways the ACA can help you get covered and get healthy today:
Coverage at prices you can afford
Think you can’t afford coverage? Think again. The health insurance Marketplace has plans that can fit your budget, whether you need coverage for yourself or your entire family. And financial help is available for middle and low income people. The majority of people who apply for coverage in the health insurance Marketplace (www.healthcare.gov) qualify for tax credits and subsidies. Depending on how much money you make, this can be worth thousands of dollars each year. Depending on your income and the state you live in, you may even qualify for free health insurance for yourself, your children or your entire family through Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Visit www.healthcare.gov to see if you qualify or call 1-800-318-2596.
Coverage you can count on
The health reform law makes sure that the coverage you get is one you can count on. All plans in the Marketplace must include essential health benefits, doctor’s visits, prescription drugs, maternity care and hospitalizations. This means your health insurance plan delivers value so you can actually see a doctor, get healthy and stay healthy. Your plan will also cover preventive services such as screenings for cancer, mammograms, birth control and vaccines for free as part of your monthly payment (premium), with no out-of-pocket cost to you.
Coverage that works for you
Coverage is available in every state and open to all U.S. citizens and lawfully present residents. In the Marketplace, you can choose the plan that works best for you. You can apply for coverage for yourself or on behalf of an eligible family member, such as a child. The information you provide is safe and will only be used to determine if you are eligible for coverage.
So what are you waiting for? Join the millions of AAs and NHPIs who have already gotten covered and select your plan today! Visit the healthcare Marketplace at www.healthcare.gov to find a plan that works best for you. Help is available in English and Asian and Pacific Islander languages by calling 1-800-318-2596. In addition, assistance is available, free of charge, at locations across the country. Call 213-241-0233 to learn more.
Remember, having insurance isn’t just a smart thing to have. It is also the law. Most people must have insurance or they will have to pay a fine when they pay their taxes.
Time is running out to get covered. February 15 is the deadline to enroll in coverage. If you do not have coverage by this date, you may have to pay a fine.
Don’t delay, sign up today!
Jen Lee is the Director of Community Services and Partnerships at the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations, a member of Action for Health Justice (AHJ). AHJ is the only national coalition dedicated to ensuring that Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders realize the benefits of the Affordable Care Act.