One out of every six Americans is currently living without insurance. Close to 80 percent of the uninsured are in working families. Affordable health care insurance is now available through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) health exchanges.
Consumers can enroll in ACA health insurance plans and until March 31. The Obama administration is encouraging social workers and other health and behavioral health professionals to promote enrollment to their clients and patients. NASW has produced a helpful consumer guide with information on the enrollment process and the benefits of the ACA for individuals and families. We encourage you to distribute this information in your practice settings.
Exchange plans are open to all U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents (who have lived in the US for more than five years). Federal subsidies for purchase of exchange plans are available to those with incomes of 100 percent to 400 percent of the federal poverty line (FPL). In addition, half of the states are expanding their Medicaid programs to include people with incomes up to 133 percent FPL. An important feature for social work clients is the availability of mental and behavioral health coverage in all ACA health insurance plans.