In this election season, the importance of advancing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has become even clearer. Yesterday marked the start of the open enrollment season for plan year 2017. As is always the case, open enrollment provides a critically important chance for individuals and families to sign up for affordable health insurance plans.
From now until January 31, people in every state can visit HealthCare.gov or, for some of us, a state marketplace website, to shop for quality, affordable health coverage. And contrary to what you may be hearing from opponents of the law, most people who shop on HealthCare.gov can find a health insurance plan that costs them less than $75 per month, after tax credits.
The National Partnership for Women & Families fought hard for the ACA, and we have created three new fact sheets to help women understand what’s in the law and how to approach enrolling in health coverage. Our Consumers’ Guide to Choosing and Using Health Insurance is designed to help you make the best possible choice when it comes to selecting a health plan in the marketplace and using it to access health care services. Our Summary of Key Provisions in the ACA is a straightforward, easy-to-understand fact sheet that explains the many ways the ACA has improved women’s access to coverage and care. And our fact sheet on Improving Care for Pregnant Women and New Parents describes the provisions in the ACA that ensure coverage for the health services expecting and new parents need.
The ACA has been a tremendous success. Thanks to this historic law, 20 million people have gained health coverage, bringing the country’s uninsured rate down to its lowest level ever. That means women are getting the preventive services they need, many for the first time. None of us can be denied coverage because we are sick or have pre-existing conditions. Women no longer have to pay more than men for the same insurance policies. Young adults can stay on their families’ health insurance plans until age 26. Women are now guaranteed coverage for maternity care and preventive health services. And that’s only the beginning.
If you don’t have health insurance coverage, it’s not too late to take advantage of the ACA, which is the greatest advance for women’s health in a generation. The partisan attacks are baseless. But open enrollment only lasts until the end of January, so visit HealthCare.gov or your state marketplace now and sign up for the plan that’s right for you — and encourage your friends and family members to do so, as well!