By Tanya Shelburne, Vice-President of Program Development
The healthcare landscape is changing across the country and right here in central Indiana as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) rolls out. Despite a few system glitches during the first open enrollment period from October 2013-March 2014, enrollment goals exceeded expectations.
Over 8 million people enrolled in insurance plans through the Marketplace across the country, and more than 132,000 were Hoosiers. With new insurance regulations, those individuals now have access to free preventative care that includes several cancer screenings and none were denied health insurance due to a preexisting condition, such as cancer.
Little Red Door has taken an active role in educating our clients about what the ACA means for them and how they can access affordable health insurance. Six Little Red Door staff members have been certified as Indiana Navigators and have helped our clients through the enrollment process, getting them on the path to better access to healthcare. Little Red Door Cancer Agency will be offering enrollment assistance again this year for those seeking affordable health coverage through the Health Care Marketplace. Open enrollment runs from Nov. 15, 2014 to Feb. 15, 2015. Our resource center will be open starting Nov. 17 to help those in need.
We are already seeing a decline in the demand for mammography screenings as more clients now have full health care coverage that includes free preventative care. While Indiana did not choose to expand Medicaid in year one, we are hopeful that Governor Pence’s HIP 2.0 proposal will prove to be the solution for the 350,000-plus low income Hoosiers still left without an affordable coverage option.
With more than 75% of our clients meeting the HIP 2.0 eligibility requirements, that could mean comprehensive, affordable health coverage for so many and the opportunity for Little Red Door to address other critical needs for cancer patients and survivors in central Indiana.