Happy Birthday Medicare & Medicaid!
July 30th will be the 56th anniversary of the passage of both Medicare and Medicaid. These programs have been described as the most effective anti-poverty programs ever in our nation. Even so they can still be much better! Medicare is banned from negotiating with drug companies for lower prices – this is exactly what our Veterans Administration has been doing for years! This reform will save seniors and taxpayers billions in Rx costs! Medicare was the target of the army of pharmaceutical lobbyists who wrote this prohibition into the Medicare Part D law passed during the Bush II administration. Reforming this and other needs are a part of this new push for federal policy reforms!
There is a Medicare/Medicaid Expansion rally planned for Fairmont on July 30th – if you live nearby come on out. We’re planning for a press conference that day in Charleston, too.
Health Insurance Enrollment Events
West Virginians for Affordable Health Care, Health Care for All WV, CAG and WV Navigator are hosting a series of health insurance enrollment events throughout the summer. The first event was held in Parkersburg on July 7th and more events are planned for the first week of August in Charleston and Huntington, so keep your eyes out for details on the Health Care for All WV facebook page.
Dramatic changes in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have made it possible for many more West Virginians to get affordable health insurance. One of the most significant changes is that anyone who received unemployment benefits during 2021 is eligible for free private insurance if they are still unable to qualify for other insurance options. These new provisions launched on July 1, 2021.
Anyone who is not eligible for insurance through Medicare, Medicaid, or employer-based insurance is eligible to purchase insurance under the ACA’s provisions. New rules have expanded subsidies and lowered monthly premiums. Anyone currently enrolled or those who are uninsured and need coverage can take advantage of the enhanced financial help. Even most high-income earners will now be able to qualify for the lower-cost plans. Four in ten people who sign up get a plan for less than $10 per month.
West Virginians have until August 15, 2021, to enroll in the program. However, there is growing concern that many are going without insurance because they are unaware of these changes. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, “The COVID relief bill passed in early March 2021 provided additional financial assistance to people who buy their own health insurance. The vast majority of those who are eligible for this financial assistance are either unsure whether the COVID-19 relief package included this financial assistance (82%) or say it did not happen (9%), while about one in ten (9%) are aware of this increased financial assistance. Additionally, only a small minority of those potentially eligible for additional financial help or coverage report going online to see if they qualify for a different or cheaper health insurance plan.”
More information is available by calling (304) 356-5834 or visiting www.acanavigator.com.