26 Mar Creating Access to Care Isn’t Enough
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) has already had a significant impact on the cancer community. Allowing people with pre-existing medical conditions, such as cancer, to buy health insurance coverage without the fear of being denied or having to pay more because of their health history, is a huge step towards improving access to health care. Expanding access to Medicaid (in states that choose to do so) and creating State Health Insurance Marketplaces were two more steps towards expanding access to care.
But expanding access to care is not enough.
If people don’t know about or understand these new options for accessing care, we may as well not have expanded the access at all.
Expanded access without education is like picking a winning lottery ticket and not telling anyone the winning numbers.
Some recent polls demonstrate the increased need for education about these new ways to access health insurance coverage.
- Only 3 in 10 uninsured who eligible for Medicaid think they are eligible (Urban Institute)
- Barely 1/3 who are eligible for financial assistance to buy a Marketplace plan are aware they are eligible (Urban Institute)
- 85% of doctors say they don’t have enough info about ACA to be a reliable resource to patients (QuantiaMD)
And it’s even more important that we spread the word, because there is so much misinformation and lack of understanding. A CNBC poll from October surveyed individuals; 46% opposed Obamacare and but only 37% of those same individuals opposed the Affordable Care Act. Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act are just two different names for the ACA, but the poll clearly shows that many are still confused and don’t have access to qualify information about the ACA.
Jimmy Kimmel also delved into this area on late night television . . . www.youtube.com/watch?v=sx2scvIFGjE
If you or someone you know needs health insurance coverage, there are just 5 days left to enroll in a Marketplace plan (deadline: 3/31/14). This new tool from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Consumer Reports can help you figure out if you qualify for financial assistance to buy a plan.
Our call to action: Get the facts. Spread the word.