Those who do not have health insurance can begin to enroll through the Affordable Care Act on October 1, and the Council is one of many organizations working to help folks understand their benefits and options. Get Covered America has just released some excellent information about the ACA and eligibility, including statistics specific to North Carolina. Expect more resources to be available on the Council’s website over the next several weeks.
What North Carolinians need to know:
- If you don’t have health insurance — or if your insurance doesn’t cover the care you need — starting October 1, there will be a new way for you find a quality health care plan for you and your family on the Health Insurance Marketplace. You can apply for health insurance in three ways: online, by mail, or in-person. Telephone help and online chat will be available 24/7 to help you complete your application. Open enrollment starts October 1, 2013. Plans and prices will be available then. Coverage starts as soon as January 1, 2014.
- You may qualify for help paying for your new insurance. To see if you are eligible for financial help, try this calculator prepared by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
- There will be a range of plans offered so you can find one that fits your life and your budget. No matter which you choose, all health plans are required to cover essentials, like doctor visits, lab work, hospital stays, emergency room services, maternity care, prescriptions, mental health services and more.
- Under the new Marketplace, health insurance companies have to explain the details of their coverage, rates, and options in plain, simple language. No more fine print! Also, you can rest assured knowing that you and your family will be protected from the unexpected illness or broken bone.
- Best of all, no one will be turned away for having a pre-existing condition.
- You can take the first step today by visiting healthcare.gov to create a personal Marketplace Account. The quick, easy process will help you find out what your options are and what information you need to gather to enroll once the Marketplace opens on October 1.
- Visit GetCoveredAmerica.org to sign up for updates, find out what’s going on in your state, and help get the word out to friends and family.
Facts on the uninsured in North Carolina:
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, there are over one million (1,346,603 to be exact) uninsured North Carolinians who will be able to enroll in coverage starting October 1.*
Compared to the uninsured nationally, the uninsured in North Carolina are:**
- Slightly more likely to be female (48% vs. 45% nationally)
- More likely to be black (28% vs. 16% nationally)
Find out more:
Get Covered America is a national grassroots campaign being conducted by Enroll America – the nation’s leading healthcare enrollment coalition – to raise awareness and engage consumers about the new health insurance options available to them through the Affordable Care Act and connect them with assisters in their community who can help them sign up for the plan that’s right for them beginning in October. Find out more at GetCoveredAmerica.org.
–Aleta Payne, Development and Communications
* Source: data.cms.gov
** Source: A three-year merge (2010-2012) of data from the American Community Survey