We were honored to be invited to the White House last Thursday to hear the President’s remarks on the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The East Room was full of community leaders, state and local leaders, and Congressional Representatives celebrating the ACA reforms already in place and looking forward to the beginning of open enrollment for the new state and federal insurance marketplaces on October 1st. The President focused on the savings that individuals are already seeing and will continue to see through lower health insurance premiums and rebates from their insurance companies, making the argument that opponents of health care reform are focused more on the interests of big companies than constituents.
“Affordable health care is not some privilege just for the few. It’s a basic right that everybody should be able to enjoy,” President Obama declared. We agree, and that’s why we’re working to ensure full access to health care for trans people through policy work at every level. If you’d like to know more about your existing rights to health care under the Affordable Care Act, check out our know-your-rights resource, Health Care Rights and Transgender People
We’re also excited about the debut of federal and state insurance marketplaces, coming up at the end of this year. Open enrollment will start on October 1st and last six months, with coverage starting January 1st, 2014 for those who sign up in advance. At a White House meeting earlier this month, senior White House advisor Valerie Jarrett and her staff briefed NCTE and other organizations on the Administration’s plan for getting people enrolled in the marketplaces. What most uninsured folks don’t know is that they’re likely to qualify for very subsidized, or even free health insurance under the marketplaces. We’ll have all the information for you in October on how to sign up for this subsidized health insurance. We don’t yet know exactly what these plans will cover, but officials from the Department of Health and Human Services assured us that it will be easy to compare plans side-by-side, and that detailed information what’s covered, such as transition-related care, will be linked from the enrollment site.