Texas LGBTs Reminded of Affordable Care Act’s Shortened Enrollment Period

The enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act is November 1 to December 15. (Images courtesy Out2Enroll.org)

Equality Texas is spreading the word to the LGBT community that the Affordable Care Act is still the law of the land and consumers can sign up for health care coverage during this year’s shortened enrollment period from November 1 to December 15.

In an email sent out on October 31, Equality Texas CEO Chuck Smith writes, “Even though Congress has repeatedly failed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, the Trump Administration is sabotaging the health insurance marketplaces — and those who need coverage . . . Given these repeated attacks on our health care, this will be the hardest year ever to make sure that LGBT people get the health insurance they need . . .”

In its email, Equality Texas says that since 2013, the ACA has helped a significant number of LGBT people get access to affordable health insurance. “Thanks to the law, the uninsured rate for low- and middle-income LGBT people has dropped by an overwhelming 35%.”

Anyone planning to get health insurance from the ACA should bear in mind:

  • This year’s open enrollment period begins on November 1, 2017 and ends on December 15, 2017. If you do not enroll during this time, you may be locked out of health insurance until 2019.
  • You can still receive financial help to make premiums and out-of-pocket costs more affordable. Last year, 8 in 10 people qualified for a discount on their premiums, and most people can find health insurance for $50 to $100/month.
  • The Affordable Care Act protects you and your family from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity when you’re exploring, applying for, or enrolling in health insurance coverage. If you are mistreated, you have rights.
  • Consumers who qualify and fail to sign up will still face steep penalties.

LGBT consumers who want help from someone who understands their questions about same-sex coverage and transition-related care should check out the website of Out2Enroll, a national campaign to empower LGBT consumers to get access to health care.

Locally, check out EnrollSA

In San Antonio, EnrollSA kicked off the ACA enrollment period with an October 30 press conference featuring County Judge Nelson Wolfe, City Councilwoman Ana Sandoval, and Dr. Colleen M. Bridger, director of SA Metro Health.

Nearly 120,000 in the San Antonio area rely on the ACA for affordable health care. There are 25 locations where local consumers can sign up for the ACA. Use this link to find a location and schedule an appointment online. You can also call 211 or 210-977-7997 to request enrollment assistance.

“Spread the word,” Smith writes in the Equality Texas email. “The Trump administration won’t lift a finger to help our community—so it’s on each of us to get the word out about the December 15 deadline. Post it on social media and make sure your loved ones are insured.”

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