This post was originally featured on the HHS Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships blog:
Where do you go when you need help fighting a denied insurance claim, filling out an insurance application, or even just finding affordable insurance? State consumer assistance programs help the public with these health care issues and more, from finding the right insurance plan to learning about their legal rights under federal and state law.
¡Basta ya! Changing the Frame from Sex and Stigma to Health and Safety
Written with Lydia Mitts
Health Action 2012 got off to a great start with a star-studded opening plenary that included HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, health policy expert Stuart Altman, and Representatives Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and Donna Edwards (D-MD). As if that wasn't enough excitement, we were lucky enough to be visited by Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley for lunch.
Communities of color are affected disproportionately in infant mortality rates, in diabetes deaths, in obesity rates, and in preventable deaths. On Friday morning, Dr. David Satcher, the 16th U.S. surgeon general; Janet Murguía, president and CEO of National Council of La Raza; and Toni Lewis, chair of SEIU health care division joined Families USA conference attendees to talk about the importance of making sure health care disparities are part of the discussion during the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
By Erinn Ackley - Red Lodge, Montana
Inclusion of a fair and expeditious appeals process that holds health insurance plans accountable is a very important component of the Affordable Care Act. In 2006, my father struggled through his insurer's appeal process in order to receive his prescribed treatment, a potentially lifesaving bone marrow transplant. Up until his doctor requested approval for the transplant, my father's insurer had freely covered all of his pre-treatment tests (including those to find his donor) and treatments.
Are you or someone you know on Medicare? Well, you should know that important appointments, screenings, and shots are now covered at no additional cost thanks to the Affordable Care Act. The American Medical Association and the AARP jointly released a new brochure called Team Up to Stay Healthy to explain these important preventive services to Medicare beneficiaries and how they can take advantage of them.
Amid the many tragic stories of Americans struggling with health care costs, one Alabama family's situation exemplifies the undeniable need for health reform. The Richmond family has a 13-year-old daughter who is battling leukemia at USA Children's & Women's Hospital in Mobile, Alabama. Because the family is uninsured, they struggle to pay the escalating medical expenses.
Even though she'd had a heart attack and several "mini-strokes" and couldn't walk, my mother-in-law was able to live in her own apartment until she died at age 90. That was important to her. She was able to do that because she had round-the-clock care provided through an agency that contracted with her state's Medicaid program.
Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, come August 1, 2012, many insurance plans will be required to cover contraception as part of women's preventive care - meaning no more co-pays or deductibles. This is welcome news to many women paying monthly co-pays for their contraceptives and especially for those on insurance plans that don't cover them at all.