WISCONSIN — Today, US Senator Tammy Baldwin, Wisconsin Commissioner of Insurance Mark Afable, and two Wisconsinites who purchase health insurance through the marketplace joined Protect Our Care Wisconsin for a virtual press conference to discuss the current HealthCare.gov Open Enrollment period and to provide Wisconsinites with the resources they need to get health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act.


As COVID-19 cases surge across the country and job losses mount, Wisconsinites need access to a full range of resources to help them get covered or keep their coverage for the upcoming year. Despite the growing need for affordable, comprehensive health care, the Trump administration has made it significantly more difficult to sign up for coverage and reduced funding for the outreach efforts that provide people with the basic information they need to navigate the marketplace. Nevertheless, nearly 12 million people signed up last year, and even more affordable coverage options are available this year. 


“During this deadly pandemic, I want every Wisconsinite to have access to quality, affordable health care, and I also want to make sure that people with pre-existing health conditions are protected,” said US Senator Tammy Baldwin, whose family struggled to afford health care after a serious childhood illness left her with a pre-existing condition.  “Everyone deserves to know that their coverage will be there for them when they need it most, and that’s exactly what the ACA provides.”


“Access to quality health insurance coverage for all Wisconsinites has been a priority of Governor Evers’ since day one and now with this pandemic, quality health care coverage is more important than ever,” said Wisconsin Commissioner of Insurance Mark Afable. “Access to health care services Wisconsinites need is really going to help our state recover from this pandemic more quickly.”


“The Affordable Care Act has been a lifesaver for me. It’s really made it possible for me to run my own business and not worry about how I am going to get the health care I need in order to continue to practice law and support my family,” said Lillian Cheesman, a Milwaukee-based attorney who purchases her health insurance from the marketplace. Cheesman warned against waiting until December 15 to enroll, and urged her fellow Wisconsinites to take advantage of the support hotlines available to enrollees.


“The Affordable Care Act allowed me to have the coverage and treatment that I needed, and it gave me peace of mind that I would not have otherwise had. I am eternally grateful to have had this insurance, which aided me greatly in my recovery,” said Vik Verma, a Merrill resident who was seriously injured in a car accident in 2017. “The total amount of my medical bills for this accident was $450,000. My out-of-pocket from my Affordable Care Act exchange plan was $3,500. Needless to say, I was very grateful for the security the ACA provided me. It saved my finances. It saved my health. It saved my life.”


You can watch the press conference here.


To learn more about signing up for health care coverage through the ACA marketplace, go to Healthcare.gov or CuidadoDeSalud.gov.


The deadline to sign up for health coverage through Open Enrollment is December 15 in Wisconsin.

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