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Access to care a responsibility of us all

December 6, 2018

Op-Ed submitted by:
Reggie Newson
Chief Advocacy Officer, Ascension Wisconsin

Enrollment in HealthCare.gov, the website showcasing Wisconsin’s health insurance exchanges, is down this year when compared to last year. As of November 24, there were 62,150 individuals who had selected plans, compared to 78,269 at this time last year. Wisconsinites who do not have health insurance have one more week to choose the insurance plan that makes the most sense for them as open enrollment closes December 15. The time to act is now.

The good news? Our state ties for having the most insurers participating in the exchange, with 12 insurers offering plans. And the average premiums in the Wisconsin exchange declined in 2019. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) continues to extend coverage to people without insurance and make coverage more secure for those who have health insurance. Subsidies and cost sharing assistance continue to be available to those who qualify.

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), the uninsured rate dropped during the first quarter of this year, falling to 8.8 percent from 9.1 percent in 2017. It is a national and moral imperative that we keep those numbers moving in the right direction, which is down. Take action today to protect yourself and your loved ones from the potentially devastating impact of unexpected illness.

At Ascension, we remain committed to 100 percent access and 100 percent coverage in the communities we serve as we deliver on our Mission to provide compassionate, personalized care to all. Caregivers at our more than 2,600 sites of care across Ascension have seen more people than ever before receive the care they need, with fewer struggling to pay for it. While the ACA is not perfect, the number of uninsured Americans continues to decrease, which is better for them and their families, the communities in which they live, and the nation as a whole.

Healthcare coverage increases individual and family security; helps workers stay healthy, and provides opportunity for those who are most vulnerable. As a healthcare community, promoting health and wellness is central to what we do. If you don’t currently have insurance coverage, please go to Healthcare. gov and sign up for the plan that is right for you. The December 15 deadline is approaching fast – act now.