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Tuesday
Nov202018

What are we thankful for this year?

We’re thankful for the ACA, and your work defending it!

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is still the law of the land, and is likely to remain so with the balance of political power in the House of Representatives shifting to pro-ACA forces for 2019.  Since the passage of the ACA in 2010, the number of uninsured people in our country has dropped by more than 20 million. We are so grateful to all of you who have helped defend this law, which has been game changing for women, LGBTQ people and our families!

For the sixth year, Open Enrollment through healthcare.gov and state marketplaces is in full swing. This week, Raising Women’s Voices and many of our Regional Coordinators are getting the word out to those people most likely to be still uninsured -- members of the African-American, Latinx, LGBTQ and immigrant communities, who remain more likely to lack coverage. We’ll be using seasonally relevant social media messages like the one shown above.

We know many people will be spending time with their families during the Thanksgiving holiday. It’s a great opportunity to remind them that getting covered can help you stay healthy for the ones you love. It can also help you avoid bringing financial stress on the whole family if the unexpected happens.
In addition to spending time with our nearest and dearest humans, many of us will be spending time with our nearest and dearest screens! We’ll be posting graphics like those shown below starting the day after Thanksgiving to remind people to visit healthcare.gov and cuidadodesalud.gov for the best deals on health insurance.  Please follow RWV on FaceBook, Twitter and Instagram and help spread the word!

 

 

Get the facts about immigrants enrolling in health coverage

The Trump administration’s proposed changes to the “public charge” rule have frightened some immigrants out of applying for health insurance -- or even using the health coverage they already have. With Open Enrollment Period 6 now well underway, Raising Women’s Voices has created new fact sheets in English and Spanish that give concerned immigrants the information they need to decide whether to apply for health coverage.

Here are some of the important facts immigrants need to know:

1. If you are already a naturalized citizen, or have your green card, you do not have to worry about any risk from enrolling in health insurance.The same is true for immigrants who have protected status, such as refugees, asylees and people who have survived domestic abuse and other serious crimes.

2. Even if you are not in one of the categories described above, you can still apply now for any health insurance for which you may be eligible. Getting health insurance now for you or your family members can help you stay healthy. The proposed change in immigration rules is not in effect now, and it cannot even become policy until many months from now. The rule will not be retroactive to now, so it is ok for you to apply for coverage now if you are eligible. 

3. Only two types of health insurance coverage would be affected, if and when the rule goes into effect next year: regular (non-emergency) Medicaid and low-income subsidies for Medicare Part D coverage. That means you can receive federal subsidies for purchase of a marketplace health plan through healthcare.gov without worrying. Emergency Medicaid, which pays for medical costs if you have a sudden, life-threatening emergency, and Children’s Health Insurance, known as CHIP, are NOT included in the proposed rule.

4. If you are considering applying for regular (non-Emergency) Medicaid coverage, be aware that the proposed rule would only consider Medicaid received for more than 12 months in a three year period in a public charge determination. So, even if the rule does go into effect, receiving Medicaid for less than 12 months in a three year period will NOT count against you.

What is “public charge”? The term “public charge” is used by U.S. immigration officials to describe anyone who relies on the government for subsistence. If someone is determined to be a public charge, they can be denied a visa or a green card. Presently, the only two categories of benefits that are considered in determining whether someone is a public charge are cash assistance (e.g., SSI or TANF) or government-funded long-term institutional care.

The Trump administration’s proposed changes, released on October 10, would significantly expand the types of government benefits that could be considered in a public charge determination, including two forms of health insurance: regular Medicaid and low-income subsidies for Medicare Part D. Also included would be SNAP (food stamps) and housing assistance.  

The new rule is clearly designed to open doors for more highly educated immigrants and shut out those seeking opportunity. It would give preference to those who speak English and earn more money and penalize those with disabilities or lower income. If you would like to submit a public comment on the proposed rule, please start here. You have until December 10.

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