The Health Insurance Marketplace Closes on Feb. 15. Have You Enrolled?

The Health Insurance Marketplace Closes on Feb. 15. Have You Enrolled?

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to have quality, affordable health care.

Published February 12, 2015

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:

  1. Having Health Insurance Saves You Money: Let's say your appendix burst or you get hit by a car tomorrow. Without health insurance, care and treatment could cost you $120,000 or more. Save yourself the financial stress by enrolling in a plan.
 
  2.  Having Health Care Means Taking Care of You, Now: Instead of waiting for something serious to happen later such as cancer or diabetes, having health care allows you to be empowered in your health, on a preventive level. Why wait to strengthen your health, when you can do it now?
 
  3. 80 Percent of Americans Qualify for a Discount: Don't think you can afford a plan? Well you just might, especially given that 8 out of ten Americans enrolling can receive a tax credit making their monthly premium $100 or less a month. If this still may seem like a lot, remember your life is worth it.
  4. The Website Is Easier to Navigate: Yeah, when first launched, Healthcare.gov was a slight mess with its crashing, but the government has made pretty great strides to make it more efficient and allow you to enroll quicker without having to visit so many darn screens. 

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. 

Read more important facts that you need to know about the Marketplace here AND go to HealthCare.Gov to find a plan that best fits your needs and budget.

BET Health News - We go beyond the music and entertainment world to bring you important medical information and health-related tips of special relevance to Blacks in the U.S. and around the world. Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.  

(Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Written by Kellee Terrell

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