February 15 is the last day to enroll into the Health Insurance Marketplace.
If you are currently uninsured, now is the time to act and log on and get enrolled in a plan.
Health care is very important for African-Americans, especially given that we are disproportionately uninsured compared to our white counterparts. Thankfully, the Affordable Care Act has helped reduce those numbers and gain more of us access to care.
According to a recent BET.com op-ed written by Valerie Jarrett, senior adviser to the president, and Sylvia M. Burwell, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:
“The uninsured rate among non-elderly African-Americans has declined by 30 percent. In just one year, 1.7 million uninsured African-Americans gained health coverage, and that doesn’t include the 500,000 African-American young adults who now have coverage under their parents’ health insurance plans.”
But also having access to quality and affordable health care is crucial for Blacks because we are disproportionately impacted by preventable chronic illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and HIV/AIDS.
Having health insurance and seeing a doctor can not only help prevent these illnesses, but getting screened for them early also makes a difference in our health outcomes and can open the door for discussions about how to strengthen our health and protect our bodies before anything serious happens.
Watch as Obama encourages Americans to sign up for health care plans.
Still on the fence? Four things to think about:
In the end, please recognize that you are entitled to quality and affordable health care — and this is your time to take control and be empowered in your health — without having to break the bank.
Please don’t let another year go by without having health insurance. Step up and get enrolled.
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(Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)