Health Care for the Child Care Workforce
Lack of adequate health care benefits has been identified as a major barrier for retaining a skillful child care workforce. Yet, here’s some good news. We now have the opportunity to change that due to new health benefits being offered in Wisconsin (and nationwide) due to the Affordable Care Act.
Key things you should know about the new insurance plans:
- You cannot be denied coverage because you have a pre-existing condition.
- You may be eligible for financial assistance to help pay for your health insurance plan.
- All plans must cover doctor visits, hospitalizations, maternity care, emergency room care, prescriptions, and more.
- All plans will have to show the costs and what is covered in simple language, with no fine print.
Health Benefits Resource
WECA is here to help with resources to support child care professionals seeking affordable health benefit plans.
On Saturday November 16, 2013 WECA will have a Certified Applications Counselor at the Pathways to Quality Conference and Resource Fair in Milwaukee. There will also be a health care presentation with opportunity for audience questions. To find other community information sessions, check the web calendar which is updated often. Take action today!
The Breaking News
If you are among many child care professionals without health care, you are required to sign up for a health benefit plan between now and March 31, 2014. Otherwise you may be fined. If you enroll by December 15, 2013 your coverage can start as early as January 1, 2014.
For a first step, consider visiting healthcare.gov. You’ve undoubtedly heard about glitches in this website, but persistence and patience are paying off for many, and fixes are underway. Take some time to explore the site and create an account. You’ll find answers to lots of your questions, videos to encourage you, and a live chat icon on the bottom of each web page that allows you to talk directly to a representative. If you already have health care benefits, you can also use the health insurance premium calculator to compare costs and coverage to other options that may be available to you.
A federal site designed with early care and education providers in mind has useful information for individuals, families, and small businesses, such as a child care program. It also has great handouts for helping families in your program to learn about and enroll in the health insurance plans.