Wednesday, November 1, is the first day of Open Enrollment for health insurance offered under the Affordable Care Act, also called Obamacare, through the federal health-insurance marketplace HealthCare.gov. But if you shop for health insurance at HealthCare.gov, you are going to have to work much harder to get what is legally available to you.
The Trump administration has been doing everything it can do to sabotage the Affordable Care Act—from cutting the Open Enrollment period in half, to slashing the funding for the patient navigators who help people select a plan and sign up, to shutting HealthCare.gov down for 12 hours each Sunday. Nevertheless, the ACA is still alive and the subsidies to help poor people afford their premiums and out-of-pocket expenses are still in place and required by law. But you are going to have to work much harder to get what is legally available to you.
We open this issue with reporting by Tamara Holmes, who provides practical tips to help you get off to a quick start as you shop for the health insurance you will use beginning on January 1, 2018. Again, we urge you not to procrastinate! Our friends at Kaiser Health News then help us cut through the some of the confusion President Trump has created, informing us, for example, that in some states, surprisingly, a gold plan that offers more coverage may now be less expensive than a silver plan, so it’s worth considering that option.
We run an additional piece from Kaiser Health News that shows that though Republicans and President Trump have been threatening to make major cuts in Medicaid funding, in 2017, 26 states expanded or enhanced benefits and many more intend to do so next year.
The nation’s efforts to retain people living with HIV and AIDS in care and treatment lag behind the goals set forth in the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, our friends at HHS tell us. It remains unacceptable that Black people’s retention rates in care continue to be lower than the national average.
New research shows that approximately 80 percent of participants in cancer clinical trials are White, a racial disparity worth calling attention to since all people need quality cancer treatment. Women and the elderly are also underrepresented.
Finally, our 3-Day BTAN Training takes place in Jackson, Mississippi beginning tomorrow, November 1, followed by our BTAN Training in Melbourne, Florida, the following week. We also look forward to seeing you at the 3rd National Strength Conference for Men Living with HIV later this week in Dallas. Please join us. You can sign up for any of these activities under Events.
Yours in the struggle,