Need new health insurance NOW?

If you experience certain life changes, you don’t have to wait for Open Enrollment in November to enroll in affordable health coverage on or your state’s marketplace. You have 60 days after the following events to apply for a Special Enrollment Period and enroll:

• Moving to a new zip code or county
• Getting married or divorced
• Having a baby, adopting or becoming a foster parent
• Becoming a U.S. citizen or getting a green card

You have 60 days before or after the following to enroll: 

• Losing your health insurance from your job
• Turning 26 and aging off your parent’s health plan

And if you are experiencing domestic violence and want to apply for your own health plan, you can do so at any time.

Learn more about Special Enrollment Periods at or call 1-800-318-2596.


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Big love for all our Raising Women’s Voices partners today!

Sending health policy valentines to all of our amazing partners!

Thanks to Nina Oishi and Carrie Rogers of Community Catalyst for dreaming up this Valentine!

Every day, our Raising Women’s Voices regional coordinators in 29 states are working hard to protect our care from continuing attacks at the federal level and in a number of conservative states.  Today, we thank all of them for their incredibly hard work and persistence!
We also thank all of you who read our e-newsletters every week, follow us onFacebook and Twitter and take action when we call for it!

Shoring up the ACA’s consumer protections


In the face of ongoing federal attacks targeting the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and women’s and LGBTQ health, our regional coordinators in some of the more progressive states have been working hard to push for proactive state level policies.
With an eye on the Texas v. Azar court case that threatens to overturn the entire ACA,  Maine Consumers for Affordable Health Care (our regional coordinator in that state), is working to codify many of the ACA’s important consumer protections into state law.  “An Act to Protect Health Care Coverage for Maine Families,” or LD 1, was the first bill introduced during Maine’s legislative session, signaling its importance to progressive lawmakers who campaigned on health care. Among other protections, the legislation would enshrine the ACA’s requirement that insurers cover the ACA’s 10 Essential Health Benefits, prohibit insurers from refusing to cover people with pre-existing conditions and require insurers to offer coverage to dependent children up to 26 years old.  


State action to secure and expand reproductive health protections


New Mexico Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (NM RCRC), our Albuquerque based regional coordinator, scored a victory last week when the House voted to Advance HB 51, a bill that would repeal the state’s unconstitutional, pre-Roe v. Wade statute on the books that criminalizes abortion in almost all circumstances. While the New Mexico Constitution protects abortion rights to an extent following a 1998 state Supreme Court ruling citing the Equal Rights Amendment, advocates are concerned that if Roe v. Wade is overturned and New Mexico’s old statute is still in place, these Constitutional protections could be tested. As a result, NM RCRC and their partners are working hard to remove their state’s outdated abortion law and protect New Mexico women and their health care.

As part of their efforts, NM RCRC co-sponsored a letter signed by a group of 90 clergy supporting women’s right to access abortion. The letter appeared as a full-page ad in the Albuquerque Journal. In a follow-up interview with the JournalJoan Lamunyon Sanford,Executive Director of NM RCRC said in reference to HB 51: “Any law that criminalizes doctors or patients needs to go and does not reflect the values of the people of New Mexico.” Lamunyon Sanford went on to say, “People of faith have been supporting access to abortion and reproductive health care even before Roe v. Wade, and the conservative evangelical right does not own the moral argument on this issue.”

This week, our Chicago-based regional coordinator, EverThrive Illinois, joined advocates to support the introduction of a package of bills that would expand abortion rights and access in the state. One bill would update the state’s 1975 abortion law, which treats abortion like a crime. The Illinois bill would remove criminal penalties for doctors providing abortion care, and treat abortion as health care, and not a criminal act. Another bill in the package would remove a requirement that minors without parental consent receive judicial approval for an abortion.
The momentum in New Mexico and Illinois comes on the heels of the successful passage of New York’s Reproductive Health Act, which RWV-NY supported. The Reproductive Health Act secures and protects access to abortion in New York by strengthening and updating New York state law and bringing it in line with the standard of Roe v. Wade.
The Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR), our Denver-based regional coordinator, is pushing for the adoption of what could become one of the most progressive reproductive health bills in the country – the Colorado Access to Reproductive Health Equity Act. Also known as the CARE Act, this bill will ensure that everyone in the state can get the full range of reproductive health care they need without barriers due to financial limits, age, immigration status, stigma or personal agendas.


Expanding health coverage to undocumented immigrants


Regional coordinators in bluer states have also been paving the way for the creation of more equitable access to health care through new  initiatives to expand coverage to more people.
After years of hard work by advocates like our Los Angeles based regional coordinator,California Latinas for Reproductive Justice (CLRJ), California Governor Gavin Newsom recently made a commitment of $209 billion in health equity and prevention, including $260 million to expand access to 138,000 undocumented young adults after July 30. Despite this exciting step forward, there is still a great deal of work to be done to expand health care to undocumented adults of all ages in California. A recent report produced by University of California Berkeley found that expanding Medi-Cal to all low-income adults regardless of immigration status would extend eligibility to approximately 1.15 million undocumented adults in 2020. According to the report, it would close one of the biggest remaining coverage gaps in the state’s health care system, reducing the state’s uninsured population by as much as one-quarter. CLRJ is working in coalition to support legislation that would address this coverage gap.
Our regional coordinator in New Jersey, New Jersey Citizen Action (NJCA), is working to expand coverage to undocumented immigrant children. Through their Cover all Kids initiative, NJCA and their partners seek to extend coverage to the nearly 76,000 uninsured children in New Jersey. Although 75% of these children are citizens and therefore eligible for coverage, approximately half have a non-citizen parent. Many such parents remain fearful and confused about their family’s health insurance eligibility because of the recently proposed public charge rule. NJCA is working with partners to try to address some of the confidentiality concerns among immigrants by establishing barriers to information sharing between the state and federal government.
As we celebrate the progress being made at the state level by our regional coordinators in more progressive states, we recognize the challenges that remain not just at the federal level, but also in some of the more conservative states, where state lawmakers are working to roll back protections for women and LGBTQ people.  RWV will continue to work at the state and federal level to defend, and whenever possible, expand these protections.


Speaking of love….


If you and your Valentine are planning on getting married any time soon, you both may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period in which you can apply for coverage through or your state insurance marketplace. You have 60 days after the wedding to shop for and enroll in an affordable health plan.  Want to learn more? Go to or call 1-800-318-2596
Want to learn more about Special Enrollment Periods, which allow you to apply for health coverage outside of the short open enrollment period that starts each November 1? Check out the Raising Women’s Voices website homepage to see what other Qualifying Life Events can make you eligible for a Special Enrollment Period.

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