Below is an important message for early education and care providers from the Administration for Children and Families.
With the Affordable Care Act, millions of uninsured Americans now have new opportunities for health insurance coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
As early education and care providers, you understand that good health is the foundation of a child’s ability to develop, learn, and thrive. For children to be ready to learn when they enter school, they need access to services with a comprehensive approach to healthcare that includes physical, cognitive, social and emotional development.
Children who have health insurance coverage generally show better health throughout their childhood and into their teen years. They are less likely to get ill and more likely to get the treatment they need when sick or injured. This includes treatment for recurring illnesses such as asthma. They are also more likely to get preventive care, like immunizations and comprehensive screenings.
You can play a vital role in making sure the families you serve get covered. Not only the children you care for, but other family members – including parents, older siblings and grandparents under 65 – may qualify for coverage.
For Mainers, one of the easiest ways to get information is by going to www.enroll207.com to find local, in-person navigators and certified application counselors that will help you review health plan options and sign up for health insurance.
As someone in the field, you are probably aware that early education and care providers too often cannot afford to buy health insurance for themselves and their families. You may not be aware however, that now you and your family may also qualify for subsidized health insurance coverage or tax breaks through the Affordable Care Act’s Healthcare Marketplace.
The health insurance products on the Marketplace not only provide access to treatment when you or a family member is sick, but also provide access to preventive care that can help you stay healthy. Taking advantage of preventive care helps you take good care of yourself, your family, and the families and children who are counting on you.
By going to the Health Insurance Marketplace directly (www.healthcare.gov) or to www.enroll207.com you can find information about how to apply for coverage and learn about available plans and whether you qualify for lower costs based on your household size and income.
Open Enrollment in the Marketplace starts on November 15, 2014 for coverage that starts as early as January 1, 2015! Even if you already have health insurance, during open enrollment you can determine if your current insurance plan still meets your needs and budget, and if not, you can pick a new plan. Open Enrollment ends February 15, 2015!
Mary Ann Higgins, Regional Administrator
Shireen Riley, Regional Program Manager, Office of Childcare Administration for Children and Families