January 26, 2015
WASHINGTON – As Asian American and Pacific Islander Enrollment Week takes off, Action for Health Justice (AHJ) is pleased to spread the word about health coverage options available through the Affordable Care Act. AHJ is a national coalition of more than 70 organizations dedicated to ensuring that Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (AAs and NHPIs) realize the benefits of the health law.
“We have been working non-stop since the first open enrollment period last year,” said Jeffery Caballero, executive director at the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations, a member of AHJ. “Thanks to our work across 22 states and in 41 languages, we are bringing the ACA to AA and NHPI communities. We have heard from countless community members and the message is the same: health reform is working.”
February 15 is the deadline to enroll in marketplace coverage. The ACA requires that most people have insurance coverage, or pay a fine. Starting this year, each individual and family’s health coverage status will be reported on their tax filing. “This is the first time families will be asked to answer basic questions about their health insurance on their tax returns,” said Caballero. “Although most people will just need to check a box to indicate they have coverage, those who received health coverage through the Marketplace will receive a new form – Form 1095-A – that they will need to reconcile with the tax credits they received.”
Individuals and families can shop for, compare and enroll in coverage that is affordable and meets their budget at [www.Healthcare.gov]((www.healthcare.gov “www.Healthcare.gov”). Depending on your income, financial assistance is available to help you afford coverage. Enrollment is open to all U.S. citizens and lawfully present persons. Even if you are not eligible for coverage, you can still apply on behalf of other family members who are. Immigrants are encouraged to apply and their immigration information will only be used to verify eligibility.
“We want to remind our community members that they should not be afraid to apply, because their immigration status is strictly confidential,” explained Caballero.
AHJ partners, including community-based organizations and health centers, are providing one-on-one assistance, in person, to those who need help navigating the enrollment process or require assistance in Asian, Pacific Islander and other languages. They are working across the country and providing free help in communities where one in three have difficulty speaking, writing or reading English. Translated fact sheets in Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese are available here.
AHJ has developed an extensive glossary of common health insurance terms, translated into: Chinese (Traditional), Tagalog, Hindi, Vietnamese, Korean, Khmer, Laotian, Burmese, Tongan, Chuukese and Marshallese. The glossary is a valuable resource for those working to enroll non-English speakers.
Visit www.healthcare.gov for more information about the Marketplace and how to enroll. If you are not already enrolled in a plan, you have until Feb. 15, 2015 to get covered. Enrollment for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program is open year-round.