Open enrollment for health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) begins in about three weeks. While the ACA provides protections and health care coverage for all Alaskans, Alaska women particularly benefit from its requirement that insurance plans (finally!) cover the full range of FDA-approved contraception methods and stop insurance discrimination, “gender rating,” against women (www.nwlc.org). These requirements genuinely support improved quality of life for all Alaska women, but especially Alaska’s abnormally high population of battered women, as the law will effectively increase opportunities for them to achieve independence from abusive partners.
Gov. Sean Parnell decided Alaska would be the only state of 50 that would not apply in 2010 for up to $1 million in ACA planning grants (www.cbpp.org). Despite that, the federal government has our back and is seeing to it that we Alaskans get the information we need to meet the law’s requirements in our best interests.
I urge all Alaskans to call 1-800-318-2596 or visit www.healthcare.gov, for information and support regarding participation in the very humane Affordable Care Act program.
— Barbara McDaniel,
president, Alaska NOW (National Organization for Women)