There is just one week left of Open Enrollment for health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Enrollment closes December 15, 2018. Getting enrolled and maintaining coverage has been significant for the health and wellness for Black women since the beginning of ACA.
Before ACA, so many women of color, including those who are self-employed, who tried to purchase coverage on their own were denied due to things like pre-existing conditions or extremely high premiums.
The ACA is bridging the gap for Black women. Women ages 19 to 64 who shopped for new coverage on their own found it significantly easier to find affordable plans in 2018 for coverage that starts in January of 2019. But you have to enroll by December 15, the day that Open Enrollment closes.
By enrolling and maintaining your premiums each month, you will have access to primary health care, preventative services and screenings. Once you are enrolled, starting January 1 of 2019, you no longer have to delay or skip needed health care, such as your mammograms and Pap tests.
Being insured is so important. Black women have more interaction with health care and providers than their male counterparts over their lifetime. They are also more likely to make health care decisions than men. They have greater health care needs during their reproductive years and negotiate care for their spouses, children and in the sandwich generation, their aging parents.
There are Black women all over the country who do not have the benefit of sponsored insurance coverage, even if they are employed. Now there are affordable options in the marketplace or through Medicaid to make sure you have access to care when you need it. You can do your homework and explore your options at www.healthcare.gov. There are so many affordable options. Just make sure you do it before the deadline.