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As millions of Americans are benefiting from quality, affordable health care because of the successful implementation of the Affordable Care Act, I want to let you know that OPM’s Multi-State Plan program is making a difference in the lives of nearly 300,000 people who have chosen this option in the health law’s Marketplace.
Representatives of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association told lawmakers at a recent congressional hearing that 283,783 consumers signed up for an MSP option during the Affordable Care Act’s first open enrollment period.
I am so proud of this accomplishment, especially since this was our first year running this program compared to the more than 50 years that OPM has administered the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. In this first year of the MSP program, consumers in 30 states and the District of Columbia had a MSP option as part of their health coverage choices.
It’s exciting to see that OPM is making an impact on the Health Insurance Marketplace. OPM staff is working to ensure that MSP options offer comprehensive benefits with strong consumer protections. With the MSP program in place, uninsured Americans now have even more choices for affordable coverage that works for them.
In this first year, we contracted with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, a long-time FEHB partner to provide MSP options. But I am looking forward to welcoming additional MSP issuers in the future so we can add even more competition to the Marketplace.
So if you have friends or family members who have lost their health insurance because of a major life event, please refer them to the Health Insurance Marketplace at HealthCare.gov or CuidadoDeSalud.gov, the Spanish version of the site. And it won’t be long before the next open enrollment for the Marketplace begins on November 15, 2014.
And make sure to put in a plug for OPM’s MSP program!
Today is it. This is the last day for Americans to enroll in an Affordable Care Act Marketplace. And I want to make a special appeal to the Latino community to keep working until the last minute to get the word out.
In the past month I’ve traveled to Philadelphia, San Antonio, Houston, Miami and Phoenix. I’ve concentrated on the Latino community because we lack health insurance in greater numbers than others. I am determined to get us covered – NOW.
We heard last week that more than 6 million Americans have signed up and that the virtual lines are long in the Marketplaces. That’s great. But we can’t let up.
In order to be assured of health coverage for the coming year enrollees have to have started the sign up process by midnight. Just like on an Election Day, as long as people are in line before midnight they’ll be given time to complete the enrollment process.
The resources are there for Latinos. In addition to healthcare.gov there is cuidadodesalud.gov. The call center – 1-800-318-2596 - has Spanish speaking operators waiting to help.
This is it. Spread the word anyway you can.
Let’s get everyone covered NOW!
I’m headed to Miami this weekend. We’re coming down to the wire for uninsured Americans people to sign up for the Affordable Care Act Marketplaces. I especially want to make sure that the millions of uninsured Latinos know the benefits of the new health care law and how they can enroll.
The deadline for signing up for this year is March 31. After that people without health insurance will have to wait another year to enroll. They’ll have to wait another year to benefit from the preventive care the Affordable Care Act provides for free. They’ll have to wait another year for the Federal financial assistance available to help people pay their monthly premiums. They’ll have to pay a penalty for not being covered.
So far more than 5 million people without insurance have already signed up for a plan. More than 10 million people have enrolled in private insurance or signed up, renewed, or found out they are eligible for Medicaid coverage.
In Miami on Saturday I will go to Palmetto Hospital in Hialeah where Enroll America is sponsoring an event to help people sign up for the Affordable Care Act Marketplaces. I want to salute Enroll America and all the other community groups across the country for the hard work they are doing in key states where large numbers of Americans are uninsured and need coverage.
After the formal event, I will join community organizers to go door-to-door in the community to explain to people the benefits of the new health law and tell them how they can sign up.
I need your help. If you are uninsured, enroll. If you have health insurance, talk to family members, talk to friends, talk to neighbors. If people have questions, there are navigators and online resources available to help. A call center is available at 1-800-318-2596, seven days a week, 24-hours a day. Consumers can get help in English and in Spanish.
Don’t forget. The deadline is Monday, March 31. It is so important to #GetCovered!
Saturday I went to Philadelphia to get the word out about the approaching deadline for people to enroll in the Affordable Care Act Marketplaces. The push is on to make sure that everyone who is eligible for health insurance under the new health law has the information and help they need to enroll by March 31.
I visited with people attending a four-hour event at Congreso de Latinos Unidos where representatives from the Department of Health and Human Services were on hand to answer questions and assist people in the enrollment process.
I told the community residents a little bit about my family’s health care story and about how necessary it is to have health coverage, regardless of what age you are.
My daughter Graciela was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the age of 19. Now healthy, she still has a lifetime of tests and need for medical care ahead of her. The Affordable Care Act ensures that she won’t ever be denied coverage for that care. My older brother Bob is a laborer. He works whenever he can get a job, so he wasn’t able to get health insurance. With the Affordable Care Act, he has been able to sign up for a plan through healthcare.gov and he no longer has to worry about the possibility of getting sick. My younger brother Dan is a contractor. He had health insurance but it was prohibitively expensive – he spent most of his paycheck just on the cost. With the exchanges he was able to get a plan that is much more affordable and still provides excellent coverage.
My family’s story is not that unusual. It’s the same story that families all across America could tell. And it’s why the Affordable Care Act is so important.
The President wants to make sure that the word is getting out to the Hispanic community, which has a higher insurance rates that most. Nearly 25 percent of Hispanics are uninsured.
That’s a statistic that must change. And because of the Affordable Care Act it will.
Because of the Affordable Care Act, Americans can get quality healthcare for an affordable cost. They can be sure that they will have coverage to treat the accidents and unexpected illnesses that may come their way. And they can know that they can’t be denied coverage because they’ve been sick.
My trip to Philadelphia today is the first of several I will be making between now and March 31, the deadline to enroll. We all need to spread the word: Enroll Now!
There are only 33 days left for Americans to sign up for a health plan in the Affordable Care Act Marketplaces.
We held an exciting event here at OPM this week designed to help parents of young adults about to turn 26 or who are already older than that.
Why that age group? Because people reaching that age have some decisions to make. Under the Affordable Care Act, children can stay on their parent’s health insurance plans until they turn 26.
But after that, if these young folks are not insured through their jobs, they need to make sure they sign up for a health plan through the ACA Marketplaces.
We parents know it is not always easy to convince our children to do anything. So the OPM health care team organized this event to give parents some tips on how to counsel their children on the importance of having health insurance. They gave OPM employees some pointers on how their children can go to Healthcare.gov and find all the information they need about health plans, their costs and how to enroll.
Young people often believe they are invincible and don’t have to worry about being insured Take it from me, the mother of a young woman, Graciela, who was diagnosed with cancer at age 19. Graciela is well now but she will need health care for the rest of her life. And the Affordable Care Act ensures that no insurance company can refuse to cover her because she has a pre-existing condition.
So tell your children my daughter’s story, a story that is repeated in families across this country. Convince them to sign up. And then share your experience on my Facebook page and on Twitter. How you convinced your young person to enroll in a health plan may help another parent who is still trying to make the case to their child.
And remember, the deadline to sign up for this year is March 31. Don’t let it slip by!
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