NAACP celebrated the one-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by recommitting itself to the global fight against HIV and AIDS. The ACA provided much needed relief for American families struggling to gain access to quality health care.
Further, the ACA paid special attention to issues that are prevalent in minority populations. With the African American community reeling from the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the NAACP is redoubling its efforts to combat this epidemic with the same energy used to pass the landmark health care reform.
“We must not forget the devastating effects HIV/AIDS has on communities of color across this country,” stated NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous. “That is why the NAACP has partnered with a number of national organizations to put a stop to the ‘forgotten epidemic’.
The NAACP is committed to being a major force behind the education of communities, and a strong advocate for better health services and HIV/AIDS testing. Knowledge is the first step to better health and access to services is critical if we are to overcome this crisis.”
The ACA has made strides to improve access to insurance for people living with HIV/AIDS and help people with these conditions retain the coverage they have under the law. Insurers are prohibited from cancelling or rescinding coverage to adults or children unless they can show evidence of fraud in an application, and insurers no longer impose lifetime caps on insurance benefits or deny coverage to children living with HIV/AIDS.
Further, the ACA broadens Medicaid eligibility to generally include individuals with income below 133% of the federal poverty line ($14,400 for an individual and $29,300 for a family of 4), including single adults who have not traditionally been eligible for Medicaid benefits before. As a result, a person living with HIV who meets this income threshold no longer has to wait for an AIDS diagnosis in order to become eligible for Medicaid.Visit www.naacp.org/programs/ entry/ health- programsfor additional information on NAACP health initiatives.