Affordable Care Act December 23 Deadline For January 1, 2014 Start Up
by Gloria Dulan-Wilson
With so much controversy and mis-information swirling around the meanstream press about the Affordable Care Act, glitches, difficulty signing up, etc., very little of a practical nature has been forthcoming; or has had to really struggle to see the light of day. So, I’m going to try to bring some of this down front in a way you can understand.
Today is December 21, 2013. The deadline for signing up if you want your Affordable Health Care Coverage to start on January 1, is Monday, December 23, 2013. Now that is not the absolute deadline, it’s just the deadline for receiving those benefits at first roll out. Don’t get it twisted and think that because December 23 has come and gone it’s too late for future coverage. The final deadline for signing up for The Affordable Health Care Plan is March, 2014.
That said, I must admit, when I received a communique from President Obama (not that he calls me about anything; but he should) I saw the date and freaked out. I had promised my mother and brother in Oklahoma City, OK that I would gather all the relevant information about the Affordable Care Act (personally I call it the “OBAMA CARES” ACT – because he does) and mail it to them via snail mail. Why snail mail? Because neither my mother who is 90, nor my brother have a computer. There are just some things that folks in that age bracket have not adapted to, and a computer is one of them. In fact, I daresay there are tons of families out there right now who have not signed up for Obama Cares for that very reason – they are not computer literate, and may not have any one in their family who is.
The other thing is this: my mother and brothers live in a rep-ugly-con (republican for the uninitiated) dominated state, where they are doing their best to either discourage participation, or deprive them completely of the benefits. There is a ton of mis-information generated or the information is delayed or distorted, or not delivered at all – leaving them in a gap when it comes to knowing what to do, and how to do it. Those of us on the East Coast may be taking it for granted that because we have first hand information, it’s available everywhere – but that is unfortunately not the case.
So, at Four AM this morning, I’m totally freaked out, because all of a sudden here it is, Monday is December 23, and I haven’t gotten one bit of information for my Mom and my brothers as promised. This makes me a terrible daughter.
However, as always, President Obama has anticipated this little glitch, and all I had to do was log on to the website, go on the chatline and communicate with “Amy,” a very helpful counselor to get the information I needed to help my family. (a transcript of the chat follows the letter below).
You may have received this letter. If you did, don’t ignore it, whether it’s for yourself or someone in your family. Check it out, you might be able to help a neighbor or a friend, if you’ve already signed up. Or, if you’re like most of us who emigrated North from the rep-ugly-con dominated southern states, your family who remains there, needs your help in making sure their rights are not violated by political motivations and machinations.
My situation in Oklahoma is further complicated because my mother has been caring for one of my brothers who is suffering from schizophrenia, and has been incapacitated since the age of 19. She’s 90. He should have been given SSI, but was denied – we have no idea why – so his health care has been covered by her insurance. Mom’s a former postal worker – theoretically her coverage is good – but she is 90. His would be what one would call a pre-existing condition in insurance parlance. Couple that with the fact that he has no income – the situation becomes pretty hairy. And though I have a younger brother who oversees both their well being, the health issue is a major challenge.
Well needless to say I was very gratified to find out that there is a 24 hour chatline available and that the person on the other end was knowledgeable and helpful.
With some further investigation of the links that were included in the letter from the White House, I found that there were 75 other organizations that will help with signing up for The Affordable OBAMA CARES Act in Oklahoma City, OK – a surprising number considering the bashing it’s been taking in the media. So it taught me something else – don’t believe the hype or the gripe being foisted upon us by the negative mean stream media. It’s a mind game – it’s anti-Obama propaganda. Yahoo – yes, the internet server – has been particularly vitriolic, which makes me think it’s rep-ugly-con owned and dominated – they’ve had little to no positive things to say about it since the roll out, and though things are moving together much more positively, the criticism from their Yahoo News has been particularly hostile. So beware of what’s being passed off as news. I’ve already warned my FaceBook friends about Newsmax and their bogus “surveys,” which are little more than the means by which they take snipe shots at the President. Just make sure you check out the sources as completely as possible before you swallow the “Kool-Aid.”
In rep-ugly-con dominated states like Pennsylvania, where Gov. Corbett has not complied with the tenets of the act, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced the open enrollment period for the Health Insurance Marketplace under the Affordable Care Act will begin October 1, 2013. He encouraged uninsured Philadelphians to research and compare plans and enroll in a plan that meets their needs. In so doing, he has partnered with Enroll America in making sure Philadelphians are getting the assistance they need.”
As stated in the the White House letter, this is not time for formalities. Once you’ve gotten your own health care taken care of, turn around and help somebody else. It’s the right thing to do. So have a wonderful, healthy, happy, blessed holiday – Christmas/Kwanzaa, or whatever you celebrate during this season.
Stay Blessed &
bullet Columnist Gloria Dulan-Wilson Is a veteran New York City Journalist. Her experiences, perspective & sense of history are an invaluable combination. “check out my blog:” www.gloria-dulan-wilson.blogspot.com