HCFANY launched a new campaign today to provide outreach and education to uninsured LGBT New Yorkers around the new health options that will soon be available via the New York State Health Benefit Exchange. While health statistics on LGBT populations are not yet widely collected (something we are pushing to change) experts estimate that 1 in 4 LGBT people in the state are uninsured.
The outreach campaign will be headed up by HCFANY’s LGBT Task Force to help prepare people for the health insurance choices they may need to make once enrollment on the Exchange opens on October 1st.
The campaign was kicked off by a press briefing hosted by the New York State Health Foundation to bring attention to the unique needs of LGBT New Yorkers, illustrate how the Affordable Care Act is working to address them, and to lay out next steps.
- Kellan Baker, Director, LGBT State Exchanges Project, Center for American Progress
- Megan Fisk, Director of Family Services, LGBT Community Services Center of New York
- Mark Hannay, Director, Metro New York Health Care For All Campaign
- Jonathan Lang, Director of Governmental Projects and Community
Development, Empire State Pride Agenda
- Jay Laudato, Executive Director, Callen-Lorde Community Health Center
- David Sandman, Senior Vice President, New York State Health Foundation
- Lois Uttley, Director, Raising Women’s Voices for the Health Care We Need
The new coverage options afforded by the ACA will benefit LGBT communities by providing wider access to affordable health care, increased data collection (which will work to inform future policy decisions), and a new ban on discrimination based on HIV status and sex, including gender identity.
The LGBT Task Force has been working with state Exchange officials to make sure that same-sex couples have the same opportunities for affordable health coverage. This includes allowing couples to pool their premium subsidies together to purchase family health plans on the Exchange.
Outreach will start at the June 30 PrideFest in Manhattan, and continue through the summer and fall.
Thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), more than 1 million uninsured New Yorkers will newly have access to affordable health insurance options starting this fall. That’s a lot of folks who will need to wade through a lot of new information in the coming months.
HCFANY will be holding a briefing in New York City on Thursday, March 7th at the Interchurch Center from 9:00 am – 11:30 am to go over the necessary public outreach and enrollment efforts that will need to happen in order to ensure that the greatest number of New Yorkers benefit from the ACA. Specifically, we will be going over the following questions:
- How will New Yorkers learn about new health coverage options?
- How is New York State going to reach out to and sign up the uninsured?
- What will individuals, families, and small employers in New York l need to know?
- What’s to be gained if we do it all right (…and at risk if we don’t)?
- What can our elected officials do to help make it go smoothly?
- How can groups across New York contribute and participate?
This meeting is open to all New York members, allies, colleagues and new friends in the NYC area.
RWV’s New York intern, Nina Nnamani, shares what she learned about how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has improved her health insurance coverage.
As a woman in her early 20s, I am among those who benefit most from the health care law. I am in my first year of graduate school and have a lot of things on my “worry list” – assignments that must be turned in, rent that is due, loans that must be paid back and more. However, thanks to the new health care law, affording co-pays for key preventive care isn’t one of my worries.
Under the law, all new insurance plans must cover key preventive care for women without copays. This means that care like birth control or screenings for sexually transmitted infections are provided at no extra cost.
I knew this provision applied to plans starting after August 2012, and that many women would see the changes go into effect in January 2013 (when many new plan years start). But, I didn’t know whether my plan was complying and whether I’d begin seeing coverage without co-pays too.
Well, I checked, and it does! This is the first year that I will be able to get this key preventive care without paying for extra costs. This helps me stay healthy while on a student budget, and allows me to cross one more thing off of my “worry list.”
This provision of the health care law applies to all new plans starting on or after August 2012 (with an exemption for certain religious institutions). Check to see if you are covered too! Ask these questions to find out whether your plan is complying.
HAPPY VALENTINE‘S DAY!
A new study published in Health Affairs last week finds that young adults aged 19-25 have experienced significant gains in health insurance access since the passage of the ACA. The law, which allows young adults to stay on their parents’ insurance plans until the age of 26, is estimated to have increased health insurance coverage to over 3 million young adults in its first year alone.
So, this is not entirely news to us, as we have known for some time that young adults have been coming out in droves to sign up for their parents’ health insurance. But, the Health Affairs study dug a little deeper by using data from two nationally representative surveys to compare health insurance status and health care access for young adults 19-25 with those aged 26-34 between 2005 and 2011 (remember, this provision of the ACA went into effect in 2010). Researchers found that overall, the largest gains in insurance were made by unmarried adults, men, and nonstudents. It also found that the number of young adults who delayed getting health care and those who did not receive care because they couldn’t afford it has gone down significantly since the passage of the new law.
Young adults in the 19-25 age group have historically had the lowest rate of insurance coverage out of all of the age groups. However, the passage of the ACA seems to have stymied this trend by bumping up the rate of insurance coverage and access for this group so that it now more closely resembles that of other adults in older age categories.
So, in a nutshell - the ACA is working!
The article is titled “The Affordable Care Act Has Led to Significant Gains in Health Insurance And Access To Care For Young Adults” and can be found on the Health Affairs website by clicking here.