Lakeshore News Tonight

Sebelius Calls Day “Transformational” for Nation’s Health Care

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December 31, 2013 by AP & Jerry Howard

The United States government says the official initiation of its Affordable Care Act national health care policy involves more than 2,000,000 “Obamacare” enrollees.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the January 1, 2014 implementation of the core provision of the Act is “transformational,” preventing preexisting medical conditions, including gender, from being rationale for denial of health insurance coverage to some people.

She says that 2.1-million people signed up for new health insurance coverage under the Act, a process that also put another 3.9-million people on Medicaid support. ¬†Sebelius says those 6,000,000 beneficiaries are separate from another 3,000,000 people, through age 26, who obtained health care coverage from their parents’ insurance policies as part of the Act.

As Obamacare launches, the so-called “young invincibles,” are so important to the success of the Affordable Care Act¬†that supporters and detractors are spending millions of dollars to influence them with racy ads, social media campaigns and celebrity endorsements.

President Barack Obama is even asking their mothers to help in recruitment efforts.

The federal government and states running their own exchanges have launched marketing efforts for this crucial demographic of healthy young adults, but it’s unclear if the messages are getting through.

Harvard’s Institute of Politics recently polled about 2,000 young adults, and its survey results show that about 40% of people between the ages of 18 and 29 are on the fence about whether to sign up, with the rest split fairly evenly between those likely to enroll and those who probably won’t.

Insurers are betting on their business to offset the costs of covering older, sicker policyholders.

Sebelius and other Obama Administration official remind that Obamacare coverage comes from private insurance companies’ policies, and while initial coverage started today, enrollment remains available through March 31.

For enrollees who experience implementation challenges, the Administration says it has 10,000 customer service call agents available at 800-318-2596 to handle implementation questions.



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