By Sherrod Brown
In less than two weeks, enrollment begins for the health law’s new insurance marketplace, allowing almost one million Ohioans to become eligible for financial assistance to purchase quality, affordable health insurance.
Starting October 1, Ohioans without insurance, or those who would like to change their insurance plans, can shop for health insurance coverage at www.healthcare.gov.
For years, we’ve heard stories of Americans frustrated and failed by our health system. But today, the tide is turning and we are starting to see the health law take effect.
When this enrollment period begins, more than 916,000 Ohio residents will be eligible for financial assistance to buy insurance that provides quality coverage at a price they can afford. And Ohioans suffering from pre-existing conditions will no longer be denied coverage or charged higher premiums.
For Ohioans like Robert, a cancer survivor from New Matamoras, the new health law means that insurers cannot turn him away based on his pre-existing condition. For Aaron in Cincinnati, it means not having to choose between tuition and health care. And for Stephen in West Chester, it means being able to feel secure in his retirement.
Health care enrollment marks a milestone for millions of Ohioans – including myself. In 1992, I made a promise that I wouldn’t accept Congressional health insurance until similar coverage was available to all Americans. Today, I can now say that I will be enrolling in the health care marketplace this fall alongside hundreds of thousands of Ohioans.
While the new enrollment period will soon allow all Ohioans to access quality, affordable health coverage, millions of people in our state are already benefiting from provisions in the health care law.
For example, 97,000 young adults in Ohio are now able to stay on their parents’ insurance until their 26th birthday. We are also closing the ‘donut hole’ for seniors’ prescription drugs – saving Ohio seniors an average of $774 on their medication costs. More than 900,000 Ohioans have received free preventive care, and children are no longer being denied coverage for pre-existing conditions, like asthma, diabetes, and cancer.
For millions across the Buckeye state, the new law will mean less worry and more money in their wallets. And for many Americans, the health insurance marketplace will lower premiums nearly 14 percent more than previously expected.
There is still more work to be done to perfect our nation’s health care system. But on October 1, I will join millions of Ohioans as we take a step towards a future where worry and failed protections will soon become a thing of the past.
Sherrod Brown is a United States Senator from Ohio.