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Affordable New Health Care Options: Start a Healthier Future for You and Your Family

By Anne Filipic

Anne-FilipicWe never plan on being sick or getting hurt — but it happens. And when it does, medical bills should not be a burden on our families. Last year, we made incredible progress in enrolling nearly 16 million Americans in health insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA). But, tens of millions still stand to benefit from these new options.

Whether on the airwaves or at the grassroots level, our goal at Get Covered America is to make sure as many consumers, especially women, as possible have the information they need to get covered before the enrollment window closes on February 15. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, women make 80% of the health care decisions for their families. Women are also 47% more likely than their male counterparts to share information about health care with their friends, family and community—and our goal is to empower them with the facts.

The affordable and comprehensive coverage options available through the ACA are making the risk of forgoing expensive health insurance no longer necessary, and can help families save a lot of money in the long run.  For example, while an average childbirth cost approximately $10,652 before the ACA, all health insurance plans now cover maternity care, doctor visits, hospitalizations, emergency room visits, preventive services and prescriptions. Preventive services for pregnant women include gestational diabetes screenings, breastfeeding support, well-baby visits and vaccines for children.  Also, for the first time, financial assistance is available to lower the cost of monthly premiums. During the last enrollment period, 85% of those who enrolled in coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace received this financial help.

Selecting the right plan with the proper coverage and cost may seem a bit overwhelming. Get Covered America has tips and tools to guide you through the process to select an option that best suits you and your family. On the site, you can use the Get Covered Calculator tool to find a personalized estimate of how much financial help you can expect to receive through the Marketplace.

If you would like to find in-person application assistance, enter your ZIP code into the Get Covered Connector tool to find free expert help in your area. You can also check out the Get Covered 101 guide, which will help answer some of the basic questions about health insurance and the options available to you.

You do not want to miss this amazing opportunity to enroll in health insurance through the ACA. Enrollment runs through February 15, 2015, and the tools provided at can help you get the information you need to find the best health plan for you and your family. And if you already have health insurance, help us spread the word to your friends, family, and neighbors to make sure they get covered, and stay covered.

Anne Filipic is the president of Enroll America, a non-profit organization working to ensure uninsured Americans know how to get covered.

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