NC leaders: Changes make it easier, cheaper to get health coverage
Governor Roy Cooper and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D., highlighted changes in federal law that make obtaining insurance through the federal Health Insurance Marketplace more affordable and available to more than 100,000 additional people in the state.
um and what we want to make sure folks know is this year because of the american rescue plan passed earlier in the year, there are more than 100,000 north Carolinians who are newly eligible for some financial assistance in purchasing their health insurance and there's 100,000 more That have already gotten their insurance and connect get an even bigger discount. And so what we want to do is make sure that folks go to healthcare.gov before December 15, check out your insurance options, put in your information and see what discounts might be available to your family. Four out of five families are able to get coverage for less than $10 a month. And again, it's linking that health insurance to making sure that your family and you can be healthy and financially well at the same time. So we wanted to be here today, both to thank mark and the great team of navigators. But to remind folks that if you want coverage By January one, you have to go to healthcare.govv by december 15th. And again, about 100,000 north Carolinians are newly eligible for financial assistance and about 100,000 are even eligible for a deeper discount in those benefits. And so many, many will qualify for even a no cost every month plan. So go to healthcare dot gov and check it out. We know that there's been no greater champion for health insurance coverage here in north Carolina. Then the governor of our great state of north Carolina Roy cooper who will turn it over to right now. thank you. Thanks dot Cohen and thanks, Mark, there's not many things scarier than when a person gets severely injured or sick and needs hospitalization and medical treatment and has no health insurance. We've seen this time and time again in north Carolina and unfortunately we have over a million north Carolinians who don't have health insurance. We wanted to come today and tell people particularly about the american rescue plan and how it has made the affordable Care Act and the marketplace better. As dr Cohen says, you can go to healthcare dot gov, put in all of your information and see what's available to you with the numerous health insurance companies that are on the marketplace. And you can also find out whether you qualify for a tax subsidy. Most north Carolinians will, Some are paying $10 a month for Great Health Insurance and I particularly want to say a word to young people, young people often feel invulnerable that they're not going to get sick and they're not gonna get injured. And I don't want to have to bother with health insurance, Let me encourage you that this is a real opportunity for you to have the peace of mind of having health insurance coverage plus preventive care for maybe a very small premium and or it can be free as well. So we're excited about the american rescue plan and what it has done to bolster uh, the affordable care Act. And if you were on it before, like last year, you before you went to healthcare dot gov and You really didn't find anything that helped you or there wasn't enough subsidy. Look again this year because things have changed. And as Dr. Cohen has just said, over 100,000 people, uh We'll get more help with their subsidies. Another 100,000 will qualify for this. We already have a little over 600,000 North Carolinians who are getting their health insurance this way. So we appreciate the navigator consortium. Uh, you go to N. C. Navigator dot net and there'll be somebody there to help you walk you through it and it's not uncomplicated. I mean it takes some time to to go through this application and fill it out. They can help you step by step, either on the phone or online. And so we're encouraging you to do that because every family deserves the peace of mind To have health insurance. And remember that you got until December the 15th. If you want to start coverage on January the first. Not much time left. Let's get it done. So market will turn back the year. Yeah. The governor highlighted uh, and the secretary highlighted a few really important points. You know, December 15 to get that coverage by January one. However, I want to make sure that folks know that open enrollment does run until January 15 this year. So for some reason you missed that December 15 deadline, you are still able to get covered As long as you take action by January 15. Um The governor talked specifically about N. C. Navigator dot net. Um and we are here to help, like I said we can provide free in person, virtual or phone assistance. Um We have certainly uh changed our ways with the time. It used to be only in person, but we're doing a lot of zoom calls lately and so we thought why not take this to the navigator consortium as well. Um but tonight, um we are navigators across the state from 4 to 7 p.m. Will be taking calls at 8557333711. Again, that number is 8557333711 and they'll be answering folks questions about the Affordable Care Act. We know that it's very confusing to a lot of folks, especially with all the political rhetoric around it and we're just here to provide unbiased support and provide advice to consumers. Um and if consumers then feel like they would like an appointment with one of our navigators to help them complete the application process and find a plan. That's right for them. We're here to make that happen to, we'll book that plan or book that appointment right on the phone tonight. Uh So please if you have questions, call 8557333711. They'll start about 20 minutes from now and they'll be going to seven tonight. And that number is also good to call throughout the rest of the open enrollment period to book an appointment uh with one of our navigators. And you can also like the governor said visit N. C. Navigator dot net. So I really just want to thank the governor and the secretary for coming out and doing this for us today. Um and we appreciate it so much. We're sad to see the secretary leave. She's done some tremendous work here and she's been a great champion for so long. But I know the person who is replacing her will be just as great of a champion. Uh So we're excited about that as well. Um With that, I think the governor and the secretary are happy to take a few questions. Uh So I will uh throw it over to them, secretary. Hello, I'm not good at math but help me here. So last year there was 535,000 people enrolled in healthcare dot gov. So an additional 100,000 people could sign. So And of those 530 People are there 100,000 didn't get subsidies that can get. Yeah, sure. I'll walk you through the math and these are round numbers. Okay, so it's about 600,000 that already have coverage through healthcare dot gov or the affordable care act With the passage of new legislation earlier this year. Another 100,000 will be newly eligible for financial assistance, there are many folks who could buy on the exchanges, but newly eligible for financial assistance, about another 100,000 people. So as the governor said maybe you came before the healthcare dot gov in past years and said, you know what, there wasn't enough of a discount here for me, Not enough help this year, that might be different for you. So we really encourage you to go to healthcare dot gov and newly check out your options and do it before december 15th. I will also say if you already have uh insurance through healthcare dot gov, about 100,000 of those folks will also get additional deeper discounts. Um So it's new people are eligible and people who were already eligible for financial assistance will get even more help. Um So what I encourage everyone to do, go to healthcare dot gov. Got to put in your information, have a navigator help you with unbiased information, Do it before December 15. Have you found, and I know you did work on this when you were before you came here. The law has been around for 10 years. You find that people still don't really get it all that they don't know how much help is out there and how much they'll be able to save. Well, we don't expect anyone to be an expert in health insurance. That's exactly why we have the navigators to help folks walk them through this process is actually pretty simple putting in your information and then their plans that you can navigate to and making choices for you and your family. So you don't need to be an expert. Don't be intimidated. And there's help, N. C. Navigator dot net. Um, that's where you can get help for folks. And I do think that it is getting easier and easier each time and each year they make more and more improvements. Uh, since since I was working on the program and running the navigator program when I worked at the federal level, they've come a long way and I'm so proud of that. So Healthcare Gov before December 15. Finally, my photo journalists, what is the ripple effect and the connection for people who already have insurance through their employer. What happens if there's not a large enrollment? What is the connection between enrollment in the A and healthcare dot Gov? Okay. Healthcare costs overall people going to the emergence. Yeah. Well, first when you have health insurance one, it's peace of mind because we know things pop up in terms of your healthcare. I hope you don't, you could get in a car accident or break a leg or get a heart attack and you want to know that you can go get the care that you need when you need it. So having that insurance card in your wallet, um, brings you that financial peace of mind as well as making sure to take care of preventative things like making sure that you are keeping yourself well. Um and that helps all of us when folks have health insurance, it means that the hospitals can be open um and serving all of us um in a different way. So when more of us have health insurance, it actually brings the cost down for all of us. Um we know that when we see more people insured, actually the prices go down for all of us, which is a really good thing and we want folks to have coverage, we want to make sure things are sustainable. So this is the way to do it. So we really encourage folks to go to healthcare dot Gov. Check out what options. Um and hopefully there are more discounts for you and your family this year. You mentioned this country said 100,000 people already enrolled might qualify for more. Can you expand upon that? Sure most North Carolinians already qualify for a discount on their health insurance if they get it through healthcare dot gov. But with the legislation at the federal level that was passed earlier this year, the american rescue plan. Um there are deeper discounts, more subsidies that are available for certain north Carolinians. We think about 100,000 of them will qualify for even deeper discounts. Some of them for example, may have been paying $10 a month per plan last year. Maybe they can get it for free this year. Um, So what I would encourage folks to do is go to healthcare dot gov, put in your information before december 15th and you can check out what options are available to you. Thank you. All. Terrific. Thank you. Thanks. Hey, for thank you, appreciate the good work. Okay. Hi.