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Our Director Director's Blog

Health Insurance

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! 



We learned today that more than 6 million Americans have signed up for health insurance so far in the Affordable Care Act Marketplace.

This important milestone means that more than 6 million Americans can count on affordable, quality health care. It means they don’t have to worry about insurance companies refusing to cover them because they are sick or have a preexisting condition. It means 6 million Americans don’t have to worry about how they will pay a hospital bill if they or someone in their family gets sick.

In the past month I have been to Philadelphia, San Antonio, Miami, Houston and Phoenix to spread the word about the need for all uninsured Americans to sign up for health insurance, particularly Latinos, who have a higher uninsured rate than most Americans and more health risk factors.

At one enrollment site in Phoenix, 300 people had waited on line just on Wednesday to get signed up. And nationwide on Wednesday there were 1.5 million visits to healthcare.gov and the call center received more than 430,000 calls.

6 million is great. But our work is not yet done. We have four days left. We all need to spread the word to our friends, our families, our colleagues, our neighbors. Enroll in the Marketplace.

Tell them to go to healthcare.gov. Tell them to go to cuidadodesalud.gov. Tell them to call the 1-800-318-2596 call center 24 hours a day.

Let’s get everyone covered now!  

http://youtu.be/3Okgs0a-ybM


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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