Only 3 Days Left to Enroll for Coverage Starting Jan 1
The deadline to enroll in new health insurance plans through the state Health Insurance Marketplaces is December 23 for coverage starting on January 1.
There are several ways to apply for coverage, including online at Healthcare.gov. You can also apply in-person with an individual - sometimes called a navigator, application assister, or certified certified application counselor - who will provide free, expert help with the application and enrollment process. Additionally, you can apply over the phone - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week - by calling 1-800-318-2596 or TTY 1-855-889-4325.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) allows millions of individuals to access quality, affordable health insurance through the state marketplaces. Families will no longer have to choose between medical care and other basic necessities, like food, housing, and education. Medical emergencies do not have to lead to financial instability or bankruptcy. And more people will be able to access preventive care and other services to help them stay healthy or care for themselves and their families when they are sick.
All new health insurance plans must cover essential benefits like hospitalization, ER visits, maternity and newborn care, mental health services, prescription drugs, and pediatric health services, including vision and dental care. Plans must also cover preventive services, without copays or coinsurance, even if you have not met your deductible. For women, that means no additional costs for well-woman visits, birth control, counseling and screening for STIs, and mammograms, among other services.
The enrollment period lasts until March 31, 2014, but you must enroll by December 23 if you want health coverage that will begin on January 1. Treat yourself this holiday - get covered and spread the word to your family, neighbors, and friends.
Media Resources: Healthcare.gov; Feminist Majority Foundation
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .