Despite the whirlwind of controversy and confusion surrounding the Affordable Care Act (ACA) over the past few months, it has not been repealed or replaced.
And think what you want about it, but about 10 million Americans rely on it for health insurance — and many more uninsured Americans may be eligible for coverage.
Unfortunately, as the New York Times reports, the Trump administration seems to be doing everything in their power to make it so that Americans who rely on the ACA will have a really tough time signing up for it this year. Not only has Trump made it clear that he wants to cut subsidies that help low-income families pay their co-payments and deductibles (Cutting help to poor Americans? How low can you go, Mr. Trump?), but the administration has slashed the advertising budget for the program and cut the enrollment period in half to 45 days.
Excuse me. I need to go rage out now.
With enrollment for 2018 starting November 1 and ending December 15, Americans only have a few short weeks to get enrolled. And because there will be virtually no advertising alerting people about this narrow enrollment window, it’s vital now more than ever that we all band together and get the word out to make sure that no American loses their health insurance.
Remember: For some Americans, losing health insurance can mean life or death. Literally.
Last week, Barack Obama took to Twitter to start spreading the word about the open enrollment period for the ACA, and posted a quick, informative video about what the average American needs to know about enrolling. (Don’t you miss a president who is decent enough to care about the actual lives of American citizens?)
So here’s what you need to know (Thanks, Obama!):
1. Open enrollment for the ACA 2018 is from November 1 through December 15 of this year.
2. You can sign up at HealthCare.gov. Signing up should just take a few minutes.
3. The vast majority of Americans will qualify for financial assistance, with 8 in 10 Americans eligible for plans that cost $75 or less per month.
4. Health insurance companies still cannot charge you for a pre-existing conditions (or simply for being a woman, halleluiah!).
5. There are many different plans, and you can shop around until you find one that fits your needs. You don’t have to be on the same plan you were on last year, if you find one you like better.
6. If you don’t currently have health insurance, you can sign up during this enrollment period.
Whether you need health insurance through ACA or not, the most important thing to do is to spread the word about the open enrollment period so that everyone who is eligible gets the coverage they deserve. Because as Obama points out: “This country works best when we look out for one another.”
Yes, yes, it does. So sign up ASAP if you need insurance and make sure your friends, neighbors, and family members sign up as well. Health insurance is a basic human right that every American needs and deserves.
Let’s do this thing.
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