Making Sure African-Americans Get Covered

January 20, 2016 / By Marquita Sanders, Associate Director, African American Engagement, Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs

In every community across the country, the Affordable Care Act is helping to make affordable, quality health care a reality for millions of people.  This is especially true of the African-American Community.  Since the law took effect, we have seen a historic reduction in the uninsured – 17.6 million have found insurance – the largest reduction in four decades.  2.6 million African-Americans who were uninsured now have coverage.

This Open Enrollment at HHS, we’re continuing to work with national organizations that have been in the trenches with us for the past 3 years.  Organizations like the NAACP are holding enrollment events in states across the country with high uninsured rates.  Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.’s National President, Dr. Paulette C. Walker recorded a public service announcement encouraging their members to enroll and already held a “Delta Day of Action” in November with their chapters in Dallas, TX.  National Urban League and Rev. Al Sharpton and the National Action Network are working with us to make sure both their members and people in the community know where and how to get covered.

Last month, Secretary Burwell stopped by Headlines Barbershop in Charlotte, NC with Mayor Roberts and radio personality Larry Mims, where owners Derek and Season Bennett frequently have enrollment assisters onhand to help those in the community sign up.  While talking to barbers and customers about the importance of getting covered, Secretary Burwell met Manuel Jones, a self-employed truck driver who signed up last year at Headlines, where he’s been getting his haircut for years.  Across the country, local communities are taking important steps to provide their neighbors and friends with information and tools to improve their health.  Here at HHS, we’re proud to be a part of those efforts.

As we approach the end of Open Enrollment on January 31, make sure to talk with your friends and family about finding affordable health coverage.  And spread the word: financial assistance is available.  In fact, more than 7 to 10 returning Marketplace customers will be able to buy a plan for $75 or less a month in premiums after tax credits.


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