How the Affordable Care Act Affects Health Care Professionals
While serving as Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius encouraged nurses to educate people about the Affordable Care Act and the difference that having health insurance can make on a person’s health.
“Nurses play a critical and important role in these efforts,” said Sebelius. “You know from your firsthand experience how important health coverage can be.”1
The Affordable Care Act (ACA)—officially called The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), and also known as ObamaCare or health care reform—increases the quality, availability and affordability of private and public health insurance to Americans who have previously gone uninsured due to the high costs of health insurance.2
For many people, the rollout of the ACA marks the first time they’ve ever enrolled in a health insurance plan, and understanding the workings of insurance can be quite difficult. The terminology alone can be hard to comprehend. Because health care practitioners are regarded by patients as knowledgeable and trustworthy, they can serve as a practical and valuable resource for teaching people the basics of health insurance and their new health care choices with the ACA.
As a health care practitioner, you can help others understand:
- What health insurance is and how it protects individuals and families
- How the provisions of the ACA have increased access to health care and health insurance
- How insurance plans can be accessed and purchased on the Health Insurance Marketplace
If you haven’t done so already, take time to learn the fundamentals of the Affordable Care Act and what it offers to consumers. If you’re a member of an association with an active ACA outreach and insurance enrollment initiative, be sure to engage in the learning opportunities made available to you. Or, access one of the many online resources made available to the public, such as:
As a health care professional, being informed and up to date on how the Affordable Care Act affects health care professionals and the public enables you to advise and assist patients, and others you know, as the next open enrollment period approaches. Open enrollment for 2015 begins November 15, 2014 and ends on February 15, 2015. The more the public can be educated and informed, the more ready they’ll be to sign up for coverage—and start reaping the benefits that a health insurance plan provides.