As the enrollment date of the Affordable Care Act is set to open Oct. 1, African-Americans, both insured and uninsured, will be positively impacted by the sweeping changes of the law. In an effort to educate the public, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has made several efforts to simplify the finer points of the Act.
NewsOne heard from a trio of Health department officials regarding the Act during a recent phone conference, and we asked them about their efforts to cater the flood of information for varying levels of literacy and the like. We were told that heavy steps have been made to provide individuals with assistance at their level of comprehension. Also, a customer assistance telephone service will provide translation services and other needs in over 150 languages.
Via the website HealthCare.gov, persons can learn more about individual or family coverage. Small business owners may also seek more information about coverage. The Health department’s Health Care Marketplace will be hosted at the site for the 2014 open enrollment period ,which begins in October and ends on March 31, 2014.
For those 7.3 million African-Americans already insured, the Act will bolster their insurance by providing much-needed preventive services such as wellness visits, cancer screenings and diabetes treatment at no extra cost. As noted by the Health department, 1 out of 4 African-Americans die from heart disease–a preventable condition.
And while Medicare does not fall under Affordable Care Act’s Marketplace plan, 4.5 African-Americans who are covered under Medicare can now enjoy a variety of preventive services for free.
A ranking minority health official with the Health department noted during the call that eliminating health disparity and easing the burden on the overall economy is at the core of the Act’s aims. Health equity for undeserved communities, especially Black, Latino, and rural areas, is another strong focus of the department and their efforts to provide ease of access.
An early benefit of the act is that 500,000 formerly uninsured young African-Americans adults under the age of 26 are now covered by their parent’s existing plans.
To learn more about the coming changes and the Affordable Care Act, visit here.