Before the Affordable Care Act went into law in March 2010, health coverage could be denied due to a preexisting condition, meaning even a minor medical issue could end up costing you thousands of dollars. But that’s no longer the case. Since the bill was passed, 17.6 million Americans who were previously without health care have gained coverage.
While that is progress, there is still more to do. And that’s why the White House launched the Healthy Communities Challenge this year. The challenge went out to 20 communities across the country, including Detroit, with large numbers still uninsured to see which one could make the most progress towards getting their residents covered.
At the start of Open Enrollment for 2016 coverage, there were still 95,000 uninsured in the Detroit area who were eligible for coverage through the Marketplace. Community leaders in Detroit worked to educate people on why that number should be zero.
The main message centered on how affordable health insurance can be. Sixty percent of people living in Michigan could find a 2016 plan for $50 or less a month and 78 percent of Michiganders who got coverage through the Marketplace would be eligible for tax credits (saving an average of $269 a month) or a subsidy.
Detroit was matched up against other communities across the nation like Atlanta, Philadelphia, New Orleans and Charlotte. And the results so far are promising: Through the first 10 weeks of Open Enrollment, Detroit was in third place, just behind Chicago and Milwaukee. Open Enrollment ended Jan. 31, and the final numbers will be revealed in the coming weeks. Stay tuned to see if Detroit overcomes its regional rivals, securing a healthy new year for our community and members!
Interested in learning more about ways we’re keeping Michiganders healthy? Check out:
- Grand Rapids Step Challenge Helps Residents Get Active
- Report: Michigan Experiences Higher-Quality Care Thanks to Value Partnerships
- Working Together to Improve Health Care Outcomes for Michiganders
Photo credit: Tom Lohdan