News & Politics

‘Tis the Season for Affordable Care Get CoveredThe rollout of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been rocky at best and coverage of the new healthcare law has been marked by misinformation campaigns and substantial efforts to have it repealed. Let’s not forget the resulting government shutdown. Despite all that, over 1 million people have enrolled nationwide. The deadline to enroll is December 23, 2013 in order to have coverage beginning on January 1, 2014.

What better time to talk about health insurance?

Luckily, I’m not the only one putting out reminders. Have you all seen the Out 2 Enroll campaign? I’ve been out of town and missed the enrollment event they had with local partners in my city, but you should keep an eye out for events in your area. They are working hard to get the word out about enrolling and sharing resources specific to the LGBT community. Whether you find this healthcare stuff confusing and need help navigating new processes or are super-excited about the ACA and want to help spread the word, you should check out Out 2 Enroll.

And there’s a lot to share. LGBT people face many barriers in obtaining and maintaining quality, affordable healthcare, which means this law is a major opportunity to advance the health and safety of all of our communities. Here’s the Center for American Progress on what our community has been up against when it comes to healthcare:

Research shows that experiences of discrimination-from overt acts such as being fired from a job to the stress associated with concealing one’s LGBT identity out of fear of rejection-correlate with both physical and mental health disparities between LGBT and non-LGBT people. LGBT people are also more likely than the general population to lack health insurance coverage, due in part to some LGBT people being unable to include their same-sex partners in employer-based insurance plans. And because most health care providers do not receive training on working with LGBT patients, many LGBT individuals and their families face barriers to quality health care, such as refusal of care, substandard care, lack of access to appropriate preventive screenings, inequitable policies and practices, and exclusion from health outreach or education efforts.

Essentially, the law will provide affordable healthcare for millions of Americans, including many LGBT folks. This is not just it! Add to it the technological advances like healthcare data analytics that can help healthcare providers offer tailored treatment options so that patients can get the best possible care so that the process becomes streamlined for them and the patients in the long run. Along with that, it would do healthcare companies good to incorporate healthcare cyber security solutions into the scheme of things as well to improve the cybersecurity aspect of their facility.

Nonetheless, besides providing the most effective treatments for patients, healthcare centers also implement a variety of safety and hygienic practices to prevent infection during critical medical treatments like dialysis, acute care, long-term care, rehabilitation, and dental or other ambulatory settings. Normally, an infection prevention consultant is contacted for this purpose who can ensure that the medical operations are as hygienic and safe as possible.

Consider this example to better understand the above-mentioned words. Say you cannot get hold of an insurance policy for yourself or your family through your employer. If that is the case, this law will ensure that you will be able to buy insurance through your state’s Health Insurance Marketplace. Perhaps the most important part of the law is that it requires that health insurance be made affordable for everyone and many will be eligible for free coverage if they live in a state that decided to expand Medicaid eligibility. Our governor in Pennsylvania has refused this expansion, denying hundreds of thousands of low-income people access to coverage.

Perhaps the most important part of the law is that it requires that health insurance be made affordable for everyone and many will be eligible for free coverage if they live in a state that decided to expand Medicaid eligibility. Besides the general public, health insurance seems equally important to the state’s workforce as well. Considering this, various organizations across the state may need to offer affordable health insurance for their employees. Nowadays, there are various reputable companies that provide group health insurance in jacksonville (and elsewhere as well). Health insurance plans like these can be useful for covering employees’ health risks.

Providing affordable health insurance to everyone is particularly important to LGBT people and their families who are disproportionately uninsured for a variety of reasons, including being excluded from many employers’ healthcare plans and facing discrimination based on real or perceived health risks. In addition to affordable access, the new Marketplaces will ban discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender expression and/or identity and HIV status. And, the landmark ban on pre-existing conditions will greatly help people living with HIV and AIDS who are currently vulnerable to being dropped from or denied coverage – if they aren’t already amongst the nearly 30% of those who have no coverage. This part of the law is also crucial to transgender people, as being transgender was considered a pre-existing condition.

So, if you need affordable health insurance or know someone who does, now’s the time to get on it. Remember, enroll byDecember 23 to be covered on January 1.


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