FAQ for African American Outreach

Click here to download as a PDF.

What is Get Covered America? 

Get Covered America is a nonprofit, nonpartisan campaign of Enroll America focused on raising public awareness and engaging consumers about their new, affordable health insurance options.

What is a Health Insurance Marketplace or Exchange? 

A Health Insurance Marketplace, also called an exchange, is a new way that Americans can compare and shop for health insurance in their state. From October 1, 2013, and ending on March 31, 2014, you can sign up. You may even be able to get help paying for your new insurance. Depending on where you live, your Health Insurance Marketplace will be run by the state or by the federal government.

How can I enroll? 

You are able to sign up:

  • Online: www.getcoveredamerica.org (you will be connected to your marketplace)
  • By phone: 800-318-2596
  • Using a paper application (mail or fax)

When does the new health coverage begin? 

Coverage through the Marketplace begins on January 1, 2014, as long as you have enrolled by December 15, 2013. After that, coverage will begin the first of each month as long as you have enrolled by the 15th of the previous month.

What kind of changes will this new law bring in terms of coverage? 

The new healthcare law will have a great impact on the African/Afro-Caribbean American community. Individuals are no longer denied health coverage because of a pre-existing condition, people will not be charged more because they suffer from certain illnesses, and coverage for youth will be expanded since young adults can stay at their parents’ health insurance until the age of 26. In some state access to free or low-cost health insurance through Medicaid will also be expanded.

Who is eligible for these new options? 

  • You must live in the U.S.
  • You must be a U.S. citizen or national, or lawfully present (be a green card holder)

Even if you don’t qualify because you are not a U.S. citizen, other members of your family might be eligible for coverage. There is no penalty for applying, and your information will not be used for any purpose other than determining if you and your family members qualify for health coverage.

Also, health plans available through the Health Insurance Marketplace aren’t the only new form of coverage available. Some people will qualify for free or low-cost coverage through Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Even now, many Americans who qualify for these programs are not currently enrolled.

I own or work for a small business that doesn’t offer health coverage. How will the new law affect me? 

Provisions around coverage will be made available for businesses. Businesses that already provide health coverage for their employees can continue to do so or participate in the Marketplace. Individuals can also choose to stay with their employer’s plan or opt for their individual plan.

How much will it cost to enroll? 

It doesn’t cost anything to apply and learn what coverage options you qualify for, what they will cost, and what financial help you can receive. Once you know your options, you can decide what health insurance plan is best for you and your budget.

How much financial help can I get to cover the cost? 

If you enroll in a plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace, you may be eligible for financial assistance. The amount of money you would have to pay each month depends on your income. Thankfully, the same application that will be used to determine what coverage options you qualify for will also tell you how much financial help you can get.

What is Medicaid, how is it changing under the new law, and how does that affect my insurance choices? 

Medicaid is a health coverage program that exists in every state. States set the rules about who can enroll in Medicaid. In the past, coverage has been mostly limited to low-income children, their parents, pregnant women, and people with disabilities. But starting in January 2014, many states will start allowing more people to enroll in Medicaid.

Thankfully, the same application will be used to determine eligibility for coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The same application will help every member of the household determine what coverage and financial assistance they are eligible to receive.

Which states are expanding Medicaid coverage? 

States are still making decisions about whether to expand Medicaid. States can choose to expand Medicaid at any time, including after January 1, 2014. To see if your state has expanded Medicaid, please visit: www.getcoveredamerica.org/medicaid-expansion

Where can I get help enrolling? 

Assistance will vary from community-to-community. That’s why Get Covered America is setting out to make sure neighbors, friends, and family members are well-informed about the process and know where people can get help in their community. Sign up for more info at www.getcoveredamerica.org so that we will be able to connect you with the right enrollment resources.

I want to help. How can I get involved? 

Get Covered America is recruiting volunteers across the country. If you’re interested in volunteering to help tell your community about the new health coverage options available and how they can apply, visit www.getcoveredamerica.org/volunteer and someone from our team will be in touch.

For African/Afro-Caribbean Immigrants:

I speak English but my family doesn’t. Will there be assistance in other languages? 

Yes. Healthcare.gov and the HealthCare.gov assistance hotline will have materials and operators able to assist you in over 150 languages at 800-318-2596.

I am under a protected legal status. Do I still qualify for coverage? 

The Health and Human Services website has a complete list of protected statuses that are eligible for coverage. You can still apply and not be penalized if you are not eligible for enrollment.

Someone in my family is undocumented. Is my whole family disqualified from coverage? 

No. Only individuals that are not eligible are disqualified from coverage. We highly encourage other family members who are eligible for coverage to enroll. Also, note that there are local health care resources available those that do not qualify for insurance, and emergency care is also available.

Enroll America Menu
Are you looking for affordable health insurance? GetCoveredAmerica.org