Congress passed the Affordable Care Act (ACA, also referred to by some as “Obamacare”) in 2009, and President Obama signed it into law. It has survived court challenges all the way to the US Supreme Court. Some provisions have already gone into effect. For example, children under the age of 19 can not be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition, and young adults can continue on their parents’ insurance until they turn 26. Women can have direct access to an ob/gyn without a referral. Lifetime caps on insurance payouts are eliminated. And insurance companies are required to spend 80-85% of premiums on health care.
As of January 1, three major parts of the ACA will kick in — 1) the requirement that most people have health insurance, either through an employer, through the government, or purchased individually; 2) the creation of “exchanges,” marketplaces where individuals can compare insurance plans; and 3) subsidies for individuals purchasing coverage who can’t afford their coverage.
If you currently have insurance coverage through an employer, it is likely that very little will change for you. But if you are uninsured, there’s a lot that you will need to know in order to make good decisions and get the best coverage you can for what you can afford. In order to help you gather information you will need to have, this webpage will maintain a list of three kinds of resources: 1) print/online resources, 2) workshops or other programs being held in the state, and 3) navigators and other trained advisors.
- Federal Marketplace Website (En Español)
- Federal Help Line: 1-800-318-2596
- Make an appointment with a trained adviser in NC: 1-855-733-3711 or https://localhelp.healthcare.gov
- Visit a Community Health Center
- Information you will need to enroll
- Enrollment Tips
- How to apply for an exemption
- How to file an appeal
For More Information:
- Enroll America’s Consumer Website
- Estimate your eligibility for subsidies with the Kaiser Family Foundation Subsidy Calculator
- Kaiser Family Foundation: Videos, infographics, and articles that explain the Affordable Care Act
- Videos about the Federal Health Insurance Marketplace
- IRS information on benefits and responsibilities for individuals, families and employers
- Medicare & the Health Insurance Marketplace Fact Sheet
- Refugees & the Affordable Care Act Fact Sheet
- North Carolina Department of Insurance
- What to know about insurance coverage cancellation letters
- Protect your personal information: What to do if you suspect a health care scam
- Church representatives can train to be a Navigator or Certified Application Counselor through our partnership with the NC Cooperative Extension. Please register here.
- Other parties interested in being trained as a Navigator may contact NC Community Care Networks by email at LDixon@caresharehealth.org. You will be directed to the Navigator location closest to you.
- To participate in outreach for the Affordable Care Act through speaking engagements, please contact Sorien Schmidt, NC Director of Enroll America, at SSchmidt@enrollamerica.org.
- If you are interested in participating in the grassroots effort to get the word out about enrollment (e.g., house meetings and door-to-door canvassing), please sign up at www.getcoveredamerica.org.
If you have questions about volunteering, please email Lauren Chesson at Lauren@ncchurches.org.
Webinar – “The Basics: The Affordable Care Act and The Health Care Marketplace”
Thursday, December 5, 7-8 p.m.
Open enrollment has already begun in the ACA, and the requirement to have health insurance begins January 1, 2014. It is important to know what is required of individuals and what help is available. The purpose of this free webinar is to provide that information. We will familiarize you with the requirements of the Affordable Care Act for individual health insurance and introduce the basic details of the federal health care marketplace. We will talk about the consumer protections provided by the Affordable Care Act, the levels of coverage and benefits available, tax credit and cost-sharing subsidies, and the penalty for not having health insurance. We will also provide you with ways to access help with enrollment.
Link to register: http://www.anymeeting.com/PIID=EA50D98688493B
Link to log-in to webinar: https://www.anymeeting.com/213-794-032
Conference in by phone: 213-416-1560 (not toll-free)
Access code: 351220410
Contact Lauren Chesson with questions
Phone: (919) 828-6501
Affordable Care Act Information Session
Sunday, December 8, 2013, 2:00 – 3:00 pm
West Regional Library
4000 Louis Stephens Drive, Cary, NC 27519
The League of Women Voters of Wake County will provide an overview of the ACA law as well as information on how to apply and how to get in-person assistance. Legal Aid of NC and the CapitalCare Collaborative will have Navigators available to answer questions and schedule one-on-one appointments with attendees.
Registration is requested: 919-463-8500.
NC Justice Center Community Forum: The Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, the Health Benefits Exchanges, & Your Community
Change is Coming…Are you Ready?
Wednesday, December 18, 2013, 6:00 – 7:30 pm
Sharon Missionary Baptist Church
3890 US Hwy 220 Business, Stoneville
As the Affordable Care Act is being implemented in our state, NC lawmakers have blocked the Medicaid program from being expanded. This means that 500,000 working adults will remain uninsured in 2014. Attend this meeting and join in the conversation with the NC Justice Center to discuss:
1) The benefits of the Affordable Care Act
2) How Medicaid expansion would help the community
3) The new health benefits exchanges (online marketplace for purchasing insurance) and eligibility for tax credits for individuals and small businesses.
Refreshments will be served.Call or email Nicole Dozier to reserve your place. email@example.com or (336) 573-2337.
Printable Bulletin Inserts created by the NC Council of Churches
NC Council of Churches webinar slides: The Basics of the Health Care Marketplace
Get Covered America’s Healthcare from the Pulpit program
- This program, which kicks off on Oct. 25, aims to ensure the faith community is engaged in the education and outreach efforts around the Affordable Care Act open enrollment cycle. The goal of these events is to inspire people of faith to take action in their communities in support of new healthcare options made available by the Affordable Care Act.
NC Council of Churches Partners in Health and Wholeness Program resource page
- The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Atlanta Regional Office would like to offer their services for your church or church staff to educate them on the Health Insurance Marketplace. If you would like a presentation, materials or an enrollment event please contact Kim Bucklen, Health Insurance Specialist, External Affairs Department on 404-562-7158.
- If your church would like a presentation about the Affordable Care Act and the Health Insurance Marketplace, we can help to connect you with a speaker who is located in your part of the state.
From the HHS Press Office: Half of single young adults eligible for the Health Insurance Marketplace could get coverage for $50 or less
From the HHS Press Office: 106,185 Americans selected health plans in first reporting period of open enrollment
From the NC Department of Insurance: Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced efforts to prevent health insurance plans from being terminated in North Carolina
From North Carolina Health News: State Expedites Obamacare Fix
Analyses and Reports by the Congressional Budget Office
U.S. Census figures related to health insurance
NC Institute of Medicine reports