The Health Initiative is hard at work preparing for the shifts in the healthcare system outlined in the Affordable Care Act. As one of the most major rollouts happens on October 1st, the Garden Party has officially been moved to spring. This allows the organization to focus time and resources during the summer and fall on community work. A formal date announcement for the spring Garden Party will be made after January 1st, 2014.
While the Garden Party won’t take place this fall, we encourage our supporters to still make their annual contribution to support our important work. To make a donation, click here.
We’ve provided some of the basics and a link for more details below:
What happens on October 1st?
Open Enrollment in the Federal Health Insurance Market Place – Under the Affordable Care Act, all Americans must have basic health coverage starting in 2014. Individuals and small businesses can buy affordable health insurance plans in a new competitive marketplace beginning October 1st.
Why is there urgency in doing this work now if it is a permanent change?
Open Enrollment concludes on March 31, 2014. While the Health Insurance Marketplace will remain open, anyone who does not have a health plan by that date will be subject to a government penalty. In addition to avoiding the penalty, we feel it is imperative to make sure all LGBTQ Georgians are well informed from the onset and prepared to use the new system. Individuals and small businesses that meet certain criteria will also be eligible for government subsidies, which will lower their monthly premiums. These subsidies may or may not exist to the same extent after March 31st.
Who is impacted by Open Enrollment and the new requirements?
The only people not impacted by Open Enrollment are those that have insurance plans through their employers (master policy must be held by the employer). In other words, if you are uninsured, under-insured, self-employed, or self-insured you are impacted by the coming changes. This nets out to be about 30,000 uninsured LGBTQ Georgians and countless others in the community (small business owners, self-employed, and anyone that holds their own policy).
How will the Health Initiative be involved?
The Health Initiative will travel the state and educate LGBTQ Georgians about the coming changes, as well as provide any assistance needed in navigating the new system. As this is the most significant health system restructure since 1965, it is extremely important that our community has guidance it can trust. Our role also includes making sure that any statewide outreach efforts supported by the government are LGBTQ inclusive.