By Mirza Orriols
Did you know that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) goes into effect on January 1, 2014?
It will give millions of people, who could not afford it or had a pre-existing condition, access to affordable and comprehensive health care coverage. It was a great victory for the Obama Administration and for hard-working families, many of whom live in HUD-assisted housing and suffer from serious medical problems, such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
Did you also know that, in general, uninsured families are required to pay more for medical services, and, therefore, are more likely to incur substantial medical debt that can lead them to bankruptcy or eviction from their home? Too often, these families are forced to choose between paying their rent or mortgage or paying their medical bills. That is why the ACA is so important.
It will help low-income, working families gain access to quality care, while strengthening their financial future by creating “Marketplaces” where they can go to buy affordable, private health insurance. It will especially help people living in HUD-assisted housing that are eligible for Medicaid, but are not currently enrolled in any health insurance program. So we want to spread the word that beginning in October, we expect these Marketplaces to be up and running where families can look for and compare health care plans and prices.
Utilizing Marketplaces, families will be able to select from numerous affordable options, including Medicaid that go into effect on January 1, 2014. For more information, go to healthcare.gov or call 1-800-318-2596.
Watch the HUD.gov website for more information as we get closer to October and please spread the word to your friends and family and people you know who may live and work in HUD housing.