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Posts Tagged ‘affordable care act’

Making Cents of Health Insurance

by Cristina González  Read full article:  CLICK HERE

 

In late June, the U.S. Supreme Court largely upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, which will require most Americans to purchase health insurance or pay a penalty. With the elections just months away and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney vowing to repeal the law if elected, the fight for affordable health care for all is far from over. Individual mandates, preexisting conditions, Medicaid expansions—though it may seem impossible to figure it all out, know that you have options and there are people out there willing to help. Most important, know that you have a right to be treated for HIV/AIDS regardless of your insurance status, no questions asked. Here’s how to figure out what type of health insurance you need, how to get new coverage, and how to seek emergency care if you need it.

Finding Health Insurance

Start by visiting the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ website—finder.healthcare.gov—which provides a list of tailored resources. First, you answer a few basic questions (age, location, preexisting conditions), 
and then the site generates a list of plans (with contact information and estimated pricing) and allows you to compare insurers, both federal and private. It’s a great way to start gathering information, understand price ranges and get a sense of what’s available to you in your state.

Decoding Health Insurance

We all need a little help sometimes, and it’s especially true when dealing with insurers. The vocabulary can be hard to understand and the red tape too tangled to unravel. But don’t despair. Many states offer help through federally funded Consumer Assistance Programs (CAPs). Their knowledgeable staffers can walk you through confusing policies, intricate forms and unclear claims, all through phone or email. They can also help you appeal an insurance denial or put you in touch with local agencies for immediate relief. Go to healthcare.gov and click on “Get Help Using Insurance.” You’ll find a list of numbers for your state, and if your state doesn’t have a CAP, the site will give you info for other resources. Help is on the way!

Getting Care in Real Time
Let’s be real, sometimes you need access to care right now. That cold has gone from bad to worse, or maybe you have a cut that won’t heal. Forget the myth that just because you don’t have health insurance you’ll be turned away at the doctor’s door. First, know that an ER will never turn you away but you should only go in true emergencies— you will receive a (hefty) bill later. If you have time, check out federally funded health care centers, which provide you with basic treatment, even if you don’t have health insurance. You simply pay what you can afford, based on your income. Locate one at findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov. In addition, the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program exists to help people with HIV/AIDS get care, even if they can’t pay. To find a counselor in your area, simply log on to aids.gov/locator.

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The topic this Wednesday July 11, 2012 is the Affordable Care Act (i.e. Obamacare).  We are specifically going to talk about how this affects you and HIV positive People .

The United States Supreme Court upheld President Obama’s health care law that provides health coverage for millions of Americans who are uninsured. This historic act has paved the way for so many Americans to get coverage that was previously denied to them just a few years ago.

For people living with HIV/AIDS this decision is without question a victory. Here are three ways that the Affordable Care Act helps.

  1. No more denial of health insurance due to “pre-existing conditions.” People who are HIV positive or have full blown AIDS have been discriminated against for years through the term “pre-existing condition.” They were either denied coverage or given a really high premium to pay. This act now eliminates that by making it illegal for insurance companies to deny a person for having HIV. There are probably other legal ways that insurance companies can deny a person, so it’s wise to stay as healthy as possible.
  2. “Donut hole” closure. Some patients who are HIV positive depend on Medicare Part D for assistance to pay for medications. Before this law, there was a gap between where the coverage ended and where the patient had to pay out-of-pocket called the “donut hole.” The closure of this hole doesn’t necessarily make medications free for everyone but it will help reduce the cost for the patients. Hopefully this will keep patients compliant with their medication routine.
  3. Healthcare access will be expanded. Insurance exchanges (where you can sorta shop for insurance) and expanding the Medicaid program will help people with HIV/AIDS get coverage. They will have access to medications and treatment which can also help with other co-morbidities that they such as diabetes or high blood pressure.

Read the full article in THE BODY

Read Full Post »

The topic this Wednesday July 11, 2012 is the Affordable Care Act (i.e. Obamacare).  We are specifically going to talk about how this affects you and HIV positive People .

The United States Supreme Court upheld President Obama’s health care law that provides health coverage for millions of Americans who are uninsured. This historic act has paved the way for so many Americans to get coverage that was previously denied to them just a few years ago.

For people living with HIV/AIDS this decision is without question a victory. Here are three ways that the Affordable Care Act helps.

  1. No more denial of health insurance due to “pre-existing conditions.” People who are HIV positive or have full blown AIDS have been discriminated against for years through the term “pre-existing condition.” They were either denied coverage or given a really high premium to pay. This act now eliminates that by making it illegal for insurance companies to deny a person for having HIV. There are probably other legal ways that insurance companies can deny a person, so it’s wise to stay as healthy as possible.
  2. “Donut hole” closure. Some patients who are HIV positive depend on Medicare Part D for assistance to pay for medications. Before this law, there was a gap between where the coverage ended and where the patient had to pay out-of-pocket called the “donut hole.” The closure of this hole doesn’t necessarily make medications free for everyone but it will help reduce the cost for the patients. Hopefully this will keep patients compliant with their medication routine.
  3. Healthcare access will be expanded. Insurance exchanges (where you can sorta shop for insurance) and expanding the Medicaid program will help people with HIV/AIDS get coverage. They will have access to medications and treatment which can also help with other co-morbidities that they such as diabetes or high blood pressure.

Read the full article in THE BODY

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In a surprise move, and defying expectations, Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court’s liberal wing in saving the ObamaCare (i.e. Affordable Care Act).

 

Chief Justice John Roberts was the surprising swing vote in today’s Obamacare decision. Although he agreed with the four conservative justices, including Kennedy, that the individual mandate was not a regulation of interstate commerce, he voted with the Court’s moderates to hold that it was justified as a tax.

Because people who don’t obtain insurance pay a tax to the IRS, the mandate was within Congress’s power to raise taxes for the general welfare. As a result, the Affordable Care Act was upheld.

The court essentially said that Congress could not require people to buy something in the private economy, but they could fine them if they didn’t.

With this ruling, Roberts avoided what was certain to be a cascade of criticism of the high court. No Supreme Court has struck down a president’s signature piece of legislation in over 75 years.

Had Obamacare been voided, it would have inevitably led to charges of aggressive judicial activism.

Roberts peered over the abyss and decided he didn’t want to go there.

 

Now what???

So ObamaCare lives.   What does this mean to you and People with HIV/AIDS?

What this means to you:  Click Here

To read more of how this may affect People with HIV/AIDS: Click Here

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