Health care bills are still the main reason that people file for bankruptcy in the United States. I find it incredibly sad that so many Americans are forced to ransom their financial health to cover bills to preserve their physical health. In this week’s State of Union Speech President Obama reminded Congress and all of us that avoiding bankruptcy is one of the main goals of the Affordable Care Act.
“That’s what health insurance reform is all about – the peace of mind that if misfortune strikes, you don’t have to lose everything.”
Bankruptcy brought on by health care costs impacts all types of people and families. The chart below from the folks at NerdWallet shows that households in the 35-44 year age range, with roughly 3½ people living in the house were impacted the most. For me this means households that likely have young children and working moms and dads. The very folks that need the assurance and protection that affordable, quality health services offers.
|Medical Bankruptcy by Age|
|Age Range||% of Total Bankruptcies 2013, Estimated||US Medical-Related Bankruptcies 2013, Estimated||Size of Household||People Living in Households with Medical-Related Bankruptcy 2013, Estimated|
Source: NerdWallet Health Analysis
However, the parts of the Affordable Care Act that will help to prevent financial disaster due to health care costs, won’t work unless you have health coverage. Today’s post is a reminder to all of you to sign up today for health coverage—either through your employer, your state’s exchange (state operated health care program), or through healthcare.gov.
Please share this email with friends and family and encourage everyone that does not have health coverage to sign up. There are three ways to get covered:
Make the Call – You can call your State’s exchange (if your state has one—not all Governors and State Legislatures established an Exchange) and sign up. Click here to find your state’s exchange. Be prepared for long wait times. When I called to sign up I was on hold for over 45 minutes! But it was worth the call for the peace of mind knowing that I am covered. You can also call 1-800-318-2596.
Log On to Healthcare.Gov – If your state doesn’t have an Exchange, log on to healthcare.gov to sign up. Don’t be deterred by wait times or down times. Every website experiences problems, but having health coverage when you need it is worth the time or frustration you might feel.
Visit a local health navigator to sign up! There are community-based programs all over the United States where you can go sign up or even have someone come to you to sign you up for health coverage.
Finally, consider this a gentle reminder that there are several elements of the Affordable Care Act that are most helpful to women. Click here to see what’s in it for us—Sisters taking care of ourselves and our families.
When at the water cooler today, remember this Friday Fact: health care costs are still the number one reason people file for bankruptcy.