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The Voice of the Black Community

Opinion

Get covered now with Affordable Care Act
Take advantage of health insurance access
 
Published Wednesday, November 22, 2017 4:00 pm
by U.S. Rep. Alma Adams

“Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in healthcare is the most shocking and most inhumane.”

Martin Luther King, Jr. said that more than 50 years ago, and it’s just as true today as it was then.

Access to health care should not be a luxury. It is a right we are all entitled to, not something reserved for the wealthy. Equitable access to it provides peace of mind as well as financial security-ALL Americans deserve that.

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, Americans have access to quality and affordable health insurance. In the five years since the ACA became law, the uninsured rate in North Carolina has dropped from 21 percent to 11 percent. Despite its success, there have been repeated attempts to undermine and repeal it, yet it remains the law of the land.

The open enrollment period is underway, so now is your chance to enroll in the ACA or change your healthcare coverage for 2018. Recently, I visited an open enrollment event being hosted by the Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy. I spoke with Charlotteans who were signing up for a healthcare plan for the first time; they explained to me the difference that healthcare will make for their families. Join them in gaining quality affordable health insurance by visiting healthcare.gov before the open enrollment deadline on Dec. 15. At healthcare.gov, you’ll find a plan that’ll work well for you and your family.

Healthcare coverage through the ACA boasts many benefits, such as free preventative care, like mammograms, physicals, vaccines, and birth control. Additionally, no one can be charged more for coverage because of a preexisting medical condition, such as diabetes, cancer, or heart disease. Don’t wait; it’s important to get covered before the enrollment deadline on Dec. 15 or risk paying a penalty that could total more than the yearly cost of many of the healthcare plans available.

Moreover, by getting covered, you are protecting yourself and your family from financial ruin in the event of a medical emergency. A three day stay in the hospital can cost upwards of $30,000. This kind of unexpected financial burden would severely impact most families’ ability to fund other essential needs, like housing, food, medication, and education. No one’s financial security should be undermined by an unforeseen visit to the emergency room.

The cost of this kind of peace of mind could be more affordable than you think. Last year, 8 in 10 people qualified for a subsidy, which, for most people, meant premiums between $50 and $100 per month. Some individuals may also find that they qualify for Medicaid coverage, which is free to eligible enrollees. With less than a month to go to enroll, protect yourself and your family from unexpected medical costs and secure access to free preventive health services guaranteed under the law. Enroll today.

For assistance enrolling, you can visit my staff on Wednesdays through December 13 at the Beatties Ford Library. If you have questions about how to get covered, stop by 2412 Beatties Ford Road Wednesdays between 9 a.m.-5:30 pm.

Don’t delay, get covered today. Visit healthcare.gov before Dec. 15 to get covered.

Alma S. Adams represents the 12th District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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