As the Trump Administration continues to enact policies or support bills at odds with many Philadelphians’ beliefs, we understand the frustration or anger many of you are feeling. One of the most important things you can do is turn that anger into action: talk to your friends or neighbors, volunteer your time with a local community group, or donate to one of the many organizations that stands up for our residents.
To help you take action, the City put together guides that include quick facts, ways you can help, and other resources.
24,000 Philadelphia children benefit from the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
220,000 Philadelphians benefit from the Affordable Care Act (ACA). That means 1 in every six adults in Philadelphia now have health insurance as a direct result of the Affordable Care Act — also called Obamacare.
The Trump administration is trying to damage the Affordable Care Act by making it more difficult for people to purchase health insurance through Healthcare.gov.
Read the quick facts and action guide and share it with your neighbors. Then call your senators to make sure they know how you feel. Let everyone who needs to buy health insurance through Healthcare.gov know that the Open Enrollment Period for 2018 is November 1 – December 15.
Quick Facts: How Philadelphia Benefits from Obamacare/Affordable Care Act (ACA)
1. 220,000 Philadelphians have gained coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA), over 160,000 through Medicaid and about 60,000 through the Marketplace. That means that 1 in every 6 adults in Philadelphia now have health insurance as a result of the ACA. Along with their health, they also gain the peace of mind and protection from financial hardship that health insurance brings. These are parents and single individuals, most of whom are employed, who do not have access to affordable coverage through their employer.
2. In addition to expanding access, the ACA has benefited 1.1 million Philadelphians with private coverage who have gained these protections:
- Providers can no longer deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions.
- No annual or lifetime limits on coverage.
- No out-of-pocket costs for all preventive care.
- No increased premiums for gender.
- Limits on premium increases based on age.
- Mental health coverage provided equal to physical health.
- Children permitted to remain covered by their parents’ policies until age 26.
3. Health insurance can make the difference between life and death. One study showed that people without health insurance have a mortality rate that is 40% higher than people with health insurance, even after taking into account their other health risks. That study estimated that in the U.S. as a whole, lack of health insurance contributed to about 45,000 deaths a year.
4. When our city’s residents have coverage the whole economy benefits. In the three years that the ACA has been in effect, the Philadelphia region has added approximately 20,000 jobs in the healthcare and education sector.
5. When people don’t have coverage, they avoid care until their health problems hit crisis levels. If the ACA were repealed, more people would seek care in emergency rooms placing a great strain on our hospitals. The hospital emergency departments will become overburdened with sick, uninsured people, many of whom will have health conditions that have progressed too far to treat effectively. Those hospitals will be obligated to treat them without being reimbursed, which will cause financial pressure for hospitals that serve as the city’s safety net. The end result will be sicker people, higher mortality rates, and financial strain on the health care providers who serve the people in greatest need.
6. The ACA strengthened the Medicaid program, which now covers 650,000 people in Philadelphia — more than 40% of the City’s residents. About 270,000 children — 3 out of 4 of the City’s children — are covered by Medicaid. The program also provides critical services for thousands of seniors and people with disabilities.
7. The ACA enables 160,000 additional Philadelphians to receive treatment for mental illness or substance use through the Medicaid behavioral health program, which is operated by the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services. Elimination of the funding for Medicaid expansion that is part of the ACA will either cut these people off from services or force the City to incur huge financial costs for their treatment, or both. Almost 25% (nearly 40,000) of new Medicaid enrollees are using behavioral health services, including critical substance use disorder services. As our city, and the nation, struggles with the opioid epidemic, ACA coverage for drug abuse treatment is particularly necessary.
8. The ACA is central to addressing street homelessness, through the Medicaid behavioral health program. An estimated 70% of people experiencing street homelessness have either a substance use or a mental health disorder. The City has increased Supportive Housing to provide nearly 6000 units. Through this funding, services provided to nearly 2000 households exiting street homelessness has resulted in an 88% success rate in preventing a return to homelessness.
9. The ACA also includes funding for public health, including immunizing young children and responding to disease outbreaks.
Quick Facts: How the Trump Administration is trying to make it harder for people to get health insurance
1. About 60,000 people in Philadelphia purchase health insurance through the Healthcare.gov (the health insurance exchange).
2. The Trump administration is making it harder and more expensive for people to buy health insurance through Healthcare.gov. The Department of Health and Human Services is cutting back on the outreach that helps people enroll and limiting the hours that the website is operational. President Trump has announced other changes that increase the cost of buying health insurance through Healthcare.gov, which will lead to premiums in Pennsylvania rising 30% in 2018.
3. If you are not covered by your employer, Medicare or Medicaid, you still can and should enroll in health insurance through Healthcare.gov. Depending on your income, you may qualify for subsidies that make coverage more affordable despite the Trump administration actions. The Open Enrollment period for 2018 is from November 1 to December 15, 2017. That’s much shorter than previous open enrollment periods.
Quick Facts: The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
1. The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) helps working families by providing medical coverage to 176,000 Pennsylvania children. 24,000 children—from babies to teens—in Philadelphia get the health care they need through CHIP.
2. Children who have health insurance have a better chance of being healthy. Health insurance allows kids to get the medical care needed to stay healthy, come to school every day, and focus on their studies.
3. CHIP provides everything needed to give families peace of mind and to keep kids healthy:
- Immunizations, check-ups and well visits
- Prescription drugs
- Dental, vision and hearing services
- Emergency care
- Mental health benefits and substance abuse treatment
- Hospitalization and rehabilitation
4. CHIP provides quality, comprehensive health insurance for families who are working but whose job does not provide affordable employer-based insurance. Depending on a family’s income, the program is free or low-cost. For example:
- A family of three with an income up to $42,000 can get free coverage;
- A four-person family with an annual income of $69,840 has an average monthly premium of $74 per child, plus small co-pays for services.
5. Parents are very satisfied with CHIP:
- Nine of 10 parents report satisfaction with their child’s CHIP health plan;
- More than nine of 10 CHIP parents report they could access urgent care services for their child as soon as necessary, and were able to obtain an appointment for their sick child within twenty-four hours
6. There is a long history of CHIP in Pennsylvania. The state’s program—created in 1992—was the model for the federal program that was enacted in 1997.
7. CHIP is expired and at risk of ending. The legislative authorization for CHIP expired September 30, 2017 and Congress has not yet acted to extend the program. If Congress does not act, Pennsylvania will be one of the first states to run out of money for CHIP and will need to end families’ coverage.
Get Involved: Children’s Health Insurance Program & Open Enrollment Action Guide
1. Share these quick facts and action guide with your networks. Education and making our voices heard is critical to building bridges and support for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Whether it is over email, on social media, or at a community meeting, help us get the facts to every Philadelphian.
2. Contact key legislators. Reach out to Senator Toomey to express your support for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Call Senator Toomey at (202) 224-4254.
3. Volunteer with the Pennsylvania Health Access Network to help share more information about why CHIP and health care access is so important. Check out ways to get involved at PAhealthaccess.org.
4. Write a letter to the editor sharing why you believe CHIP needs to be reauthorized.
5. Let everyone who needs to buy health insurance through Healthcare.gov know that the Open Enrollment Period for 2018 is much shorter this year: November 1 – December 15.