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Tens of millions of Americans are without health insurance and half are people of color, making lack of access to health care one of the many challenges Black Americans are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the latest surge in new COVID-19 cases and the pandemic seemingly evolving into an endemic, it is more important than ever that Americans have access to affordable health care.
Health insurance can be expensive, but there are less pricey options. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has partnered with HealthCare.gov to make sure Black people know the healthcare options available.
CMS is led by Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, the first Black woman to be in charge of the trillion-dollar agency that provides health care coverage to more than 144 million people across the U.S.
LaSure is answering the call to ensure the Black population gets insured.
“I want to empower our community to shift the narrative about how we talk about our health and our role in the health care system,” she said. “Getting health care coverage is such an important step we can take to improve our health.”
Keep reading and discover why you should consider signing up for healthcare insurance if you haven’t already:
If you don’t have access to other forms of affordable insurance, you can visit HealthCare.gov.
“Nearly 4 out of 5 consumers can find coverage at $10 or less,” LaSure said.
You can also see if you qualify for financial assistance through HealthCare.gov or your state Marketplace.
“Financial assistance is based on income to ensure coverage is not out of reach due to cost,” LaSure stated.
The American Rescue Plan provides tax credits to ensure that no one pays more than 8.5% of their annual income for health insurance.
“The American Rescue Plan also offered an added benefit for people with lower incomes. Now people with lower incomes receive more help and can purchase coverage for little or no monthly premiums,” Lynk said.
If you are in a state that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, check the Marketplace to see if you or your family is qualified for coverage in Medicaid or Children Health Insurance Program (CHIP) as most Medicaid beneficiaries pay little or no premiums.
“It’s dependable, high-quality coverage,” LaSure assured before adding, “In the United States, public health insurance is regulated by the government to ensure it meets a high standard.”
All the plans presented on the Marketplace meet specific standards to ensure they are high-quality and comprehensive health insurance plans.
“The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) requires that these plans must cover a comprehensive range of healthcare services called essential health benefits, including doctor visits, preventative care, emergency services, mental health care and prescription drugs, among other benefits,” LaSure said.
You deserve to be insured. The government is trying to make this a reality for the uninsured.
When asked about meeting the needs of the 13% uninsured African Americans, LaSure responded, “We have expanded outreach to reach communities that have historically been uninsured and underinsured. Our primary focus was work to prioritize these communities to make sure that access to health care was equitable.”
CMS launched a “Take Care of Joy” campaign directed at the African-American community to bring awareness to open enrollment season at HealthCare.gov.
“The campaign captures the positivity rather than the pain and stress that can be an integral part of the Black health care experience,” LaSure said. “Its premise is centered around protecting the joy in life and the peace of mind of being able to protect your health and the health of your loved ones.”
Open enrollment lasts through Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022. You can access via HealthCare.gov. If you are insured, check to make sure your loved ones are too.
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Author: Danielle James