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Affordable Care Act Website of the Week: September 23-27, 2013

Kaiser Video Explains Health Insurance Changes
Organizations that administer the Continuum of Care (CoC), Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG), or Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA) programs:
The Kaiser Family Foundation recently released a short YouTube video explaining the upcoming changes to how people can obtain insurance coverage as a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The 7-minute video, titled, The YouToons Get Ready for Obamacare, provides an overview of the three primary ways people who are eligible for insurance coverage can obtain health insurance (via through their employer, the government, or health insurance marketplaces).

The video offers an easy-to-understand summary of people's coverage options and highlights some of the key features of the ACA such as the individual mandate, allowing young adults to remain on their parent's health plan, and requiring insurers to cover people with a pre-existing condition. With the open enrollment period beginning October 1, 2013, it is important that HUD homeless and HIV housing providers educate themselves about the new pathways to insurance coverage for their employees and the individuals they serve in their programs.


  • Every state has a Health Insurance Marketplace that functions as a portal to health coverage.
  • Some states have elected to operate their own Marketplace, others to be served by a Marketplace operated by the federal government, and still others to share some responsibilities in partnership with the federal Marketplace.  
  • The Marketplaces are intended to facilitate access to affordable healthcare coverage for people with incomes below 400% of the federal poverty level (FPL) in every state (even in those that have elected not to expand Medicaid coverage to people with incomes below 138% of the FPL).  
  • In addition, in all states people who are currently eligible for the legacy Medicaid program can be identified and referred for Medicaid enrollment by the Marketplace, without regard to the states’ decisions about Medicaid coverage expansion.
  • The federal government is funding specialized outreach and enrollment assistance in every state.
*Because of possible new insurance options, and the increase in access to enrollment for many clients, housing and services providers can use the information available on websites such as Enroll America to familiarize themselves with the Health Marketplace options in their state, and develop a plan to assist their constituents to obtain Medicaid or affordable health insurance coverage.

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