ALL IN For Health and The Children's Partnership are teaming up with trusted community partners to create a safe space to discuss the future of health coverage in California. The Let's Talk series is kicking off in January 2017. More details coming soon. Contact Kristelle Jose at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information!
Now more than ever, we need to protect the health of our communities and ensure our health coverage stays intact. With a new Administration upon us, we stand ready to protect the gains we’ve secured in extending health coverage to millions in California and across the United States as well as protecting consumers with fair rules that make health coverage work for everyone. This includes protecting the health and well-being of our mixed-status communities that contribute each and every day to our prosperity as a nation.
We hear your concerns. Here’s what we know so far.
1. Can I still enroll in health coverage?
Yes. The election is over, but open enrollment isn’t. You can still sign up for health coverage through Covered California by January 31, 2017, or enroll in Medi-Cal any time of the year. Enrollment assisters are available to help you understand your options for signing up for health coverage. Go to http://www.coveredca.com/ to find an enrollment center near you.
2. What will happen to the Affordable Care Act (ACA)? Will I lose my coverage?
No one knows yet what will happen to the Affordable Care Act, but a few things are clear. Open enrollment will continue, and coverage will still begin as early as January 1 if you enroll by December 15. Any efforts to repeal or change the Affordable Care Act will not happen overnight.
3. What can I do to help make sure we keep health coverage intact for families like mine?
It’s important to remember that we do not yet know what will happen to the Affordable Care Act. The stakes are great, but you can help keep health coverage affordable and dependable for yourself and your community by raising your voice and letting your elected officials know that the quality, affordable health coverage provided by the ACA matters to you—and that you will be there to hold them accountable for any changes they try to make.
You can start by signing this petition from Families USA to show your support for the law. It will also be critical that we have stories that show the real impact the Affordable Care Act is having in people’s lives—and what they stand to lose without it. Share your story with Families USA.
4. What will happen with health coverage for immigrant families?
At this time, nothing is changing with health coverage for immigrant families. Lawfully present immigrants of mixed-status families can continue to purchase health coverage through Covered California or enroll in Medi-Cal. Additionally, all Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients and undocumented children under the age of 19 can still apply for Medi-Cal.
5. What will happen with health coverage for undocumented children and Health4All Kids?
We’ve made real progress in California by extending Medi-Cal coverage to every child under 19 whose income qualifies them, regardless of immigration status. Because the state has invested its own money in the Health4All Kids coverage expansion, undocumented children still qualify for Medi-Cal. We will continue to monitor any changes at the federal level that impact our Medi-Cal program here at home.
6. What about DACA? I have Medi-Cal with DACA.
Because California uses state-only funds to offer eligible DACA recipients Medi-Cal coverage, they will continue to qualify if they meet income requirements. However, the future of the DACA program is unclear, and the new Administration has threatened to eliminate the program in the future.
It is important that immigrant families take steps to protect themselves and their health. Initial DACA applications should not be submitted, since first-time DACA applications are not likely to be processed before the next administration takes office and new applicants may be unnecessarily exposing themselves to the Department of Homeland Security. If you already have DACA, you can continue to renew if you are within 180 days of your DACA status expiring—but be aware that your renewal may not be approved before a new administration takes office and your application fee is not likely to be returned.
7.What about Covered California?
It is a self-sustaining state-run exchange. If you have a Covered California health plan, your coverage will remain intact for 2017 and the foreseeable future. Your financial assistance (subsidies and tax credits) are protected under the law and your rates for 2017 will not change. Be sure to enroll or renew your plans during open enrollment, which runs from November 1, 2016, to January 31, 2017.
Like many of our partners, we are here to protect and promote affordable health coverage and support children and families.
If you’re interested in opening up space for dialogue, we invite your school to host a Let’s Talk event. The Children’s Partnership can help guide an informal conversation about current health care options that are available in California. This will also be an opportunity for families to ask questions and share concerns regarding health coverage, in a safe and comfortable setting. Contact Kristelle Jose at email@example.com for help organizing an event at your school.