The term “Obamacare” has been in the news and on social media a lot lately.
You might think it has nothing to do with you. But if you have health insurance – or hope to have insurance one day in the future, then Obamcare does affect you and your family.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as “Obamacare”, became law in 2010. It changed many things in our health care system for the better.
For example, thanks to the ACA, you can stay on your parent’s insurance until your 26th birthday. Your insurance also can’t kick you off because you have a pre-existing health issue like diabetes, asthma or even being a domestic violence survivor. They also can’t charge women more than men. And you can get birth control, STD testing, and an annual health check-up without any out of pocket fees. If you do become pregnant, your insurance must also cover maternity care.
The ACA also allowed more low-income people to sign up for the Medi-Cal program to get free health care. If you are or were in the foster care system, you can sign up to get FREE health services under Medi-Cal until your 26th birthday, no matter how much money you earn.
The ACA unfortunately left out undocumented immigrants. However, low-income undocumented immigrants under the age of 19 in Cailfornia can sign up for Medi-Cal.
More than 20 million people in the U.S. got free or affordable health coverage thanks to the ACA. About 4 million in California, including millions of teens and young adults also got health coverage.
So what’s the problem?
The Trump administration and Republican leaders in Congress want to undo the good things about the ACA. If Congress gets rid of the ACA, more than 22 million people in the U.S. could lose their health insurance by the year 2026. Your family’s health insurance and benefits could be at stake.
It’s important for our legislators to know your health coverage story and hear from you that you want them to #ProtectOurCare. Here is what you can do to help:
- Contact your member of Congress – the next vote is in the Senate, but your member of the House of Representatives needs to hear from you too.
- Join the resistance at a local Fight For Our Health event: https://resistancenearme.org/
California has taken steps to protect your health coverage. In California, your health insurance must still:
- Cover all birth control methods with no extra fees
- Cover a 12-month supply of birth control pills, patches and rings.
- Protect your private health information
And teens still have rights to access reproductive health services.
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This blog was reposted from TeenSource.org, a project of Essential Access Health. TeenSource.org is an online hub for comprehensive and teen-friendly information on birth control, STDs, relationships and teen’s rights to accessing sensitive services. The site features youth-developed blogs and videos, a clinic finder, a Condom Access Project and links to TeenSource social media where youth can stay updated on relevant sexual and reproductive health information and news.