As we have written about before, AAHD is partnering with Community Catalyst with an ACA enrollment outreach project (read about it more in this blog post). As part of that project, Community Catalyst has designated each week as a separate week of action. As a disability organization, we are especially thankful for the protections that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides to people with disabilities and other pre-existing conditions, so we thought it made sense for us to have our Disability Week of Action the week of Thanksgiving.
So this week, we will be highlighting the importance health care coverage has for people with disabilities. For instance, did you know that before 2014 people with disabilities had difficulty purchasing healthcare insurance in the individual commercial market because insurers would not provide coverage for people with pre-existing conditions or because policies could be prohibitively expensive? The ACA marketplace offers an excellent opportunity for people with all disabilities who either had gone without coverage or had limited access to needed healthcare benefits to obtain health insurance in the individual market. It also affords an opportunity for some people who had costly individual coverage to lower the cost of their health insurance and/or obtain adequate coverage for the services, medications, or equipment they require by switching policies.
There are significant health disparities that exist for people with disabilities and some of them are due to reasons which could be avoided, like not seeking medical care due to cost. People who were uninsured in 2013 and gained either marketplace or Medicaid coverage in 2014 were more likely than their counterparts who remained uninsured to report having a usual source of care or receiving an annual checkup. Getting people with disabilities enrolled in an appropriate plan can help control costs and make it more likely that they will be able to seek care when they need it.
So join us this week as we look at how health care coverage can affect people with disabilities. This afternoon at 3:00 ET you can join us for a Twitter chat with Young Invincibles as we highlight “Health Coverage in the Disability Community.” You can follow the Twitter chat by following AAHD’s twitter account as well as Young Invincibles’ twitter account. We will also be using the following hashtags: #MillennialMon, #Thankful4Coverage, #Thankful4Medicaid, #GetCovered, & #EnrollByDec15.
Tomorrow, we will be having a similar chat on our AAHD Facebook page and Wednesday, we will be releasing a blog post entitled “Why We Are Thankful for Medicaid.” We’d love to get your input for this blog post, so either tweet at us or send us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and let us know the reasons you’re thankful for Medicaid and your response could make our blog post on Wednesday!