John M. Becker

Got Health Care? Today's The Day to Get Covered

Filed By John M. Becker | March 31, 2014 8:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Affordable Care Act, health care, health disparities, healthcare, LGBT healthcare, Obamacare

get-covered-lgbt-healthcare-obamacare-aca.pngToday, March 31, is the 2014 open enrollment deadline to sign up for the healthcare insurance exchanges under the Affordable Care Act. If you're uninsured, be sure you sign up by the end of the day so you can avoid a tax penalty -- and more importantly, so you can get covered!

As you may have heard, last week President Obama issued a deadline extension, but it is only for those who have already begun the signup process on HealthCare.gov by the end of the day today. So if you haven't gotten the ball rolling already, you have until midnight tonight to do so.

If you miss today's deadline, you may not be able to get health insurance again until next year.

Health insurance can be expensive, but for most people, subsidies are available to make monthly premiums affordable. (Click here for a subsidy calculator from the Kaiser Family Foundation.)

The Affordable Care Act is particularly important to the LGBT community, which faces noticeable and often devastating levels of health disparities, particularly among LGBT people of color.

But the ACA takes important steps to address those LGBT health disparities: plans cannot discriminate or charge higher premiums based on sexual orientation or gender identity; they can't deny coverage for "pre-existing conditions" like HIV/AIDS, cancer, or mental health diagnoses; and lifetime coverage limits for people with chronic conditions like HIV/AIDS are eliminated. Oh, and if you're a legally married same-sex couple living in a non-marriage equality state, your marriage is recognized and honored -- you can apply for health coverage and insurance subsidies as a couple, regardless of whether or not your state recognizes you as such.

So if you're uninsured and haven't already signed up, get yourself and your family covered by signing up on HealthCare.gov today.


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