U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell encourages Alabamians needing health insurance coverage to sign up for Affordable Care Act by Monday March 31 deadline
Birmingham, AL—Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell is encouraging Alabamians without health insurance to get the coverage they need through the Affordable Care Act by the March 31 deadline.
By March 31, most Americans will be required to have health insurance or risk paying a penalty of $95 or 1% of personal income, whichever is greater. Though previous deadlines for the health insurance marketplace have been extended, federal officials have said there are no plans to extend the enrollment deadline past March 31.
“It is important for constituents of District 7 and all Alabamians needing healthcare coverage to complete enrollment for the Affordable Care Act by the March 31 deadline,” said Sewell.
Sewell, seeking a third term representing District 7, has joined President Obama and Democratic lawmakers in fighting Republicans in Congress who are seeking to repeal the Affordable Care Act. She vowed to continue to protect the law, adding that the law has benefited many of her constituents in District 7 since day one—ensuring coverage for those with pre-existing conditions, allowing young people to stay on their parents’ plans for an extended time period, helping seniors get better prescription drug coverage, and providing access to quality care for those who otherwise could not afford it.
Sewell’s office has held five workshops in the district as well as a telephone town hall that helped over 14,000 constituents get enrollment information on the new healthcare exchanges. District 7 includes parts of Birmingham, western Jefferson County, Tuscaloosa and most of Alabama’s rural Black Belt counties.
“While no law is perfect, it is critical that we provide healthcare for the 42 million Americans (including 600,000 Alabamians) who are uninsured,” said Sewell. “Our district is already benefiting from the new law. Almost 30,000 children in the 7th Congressional District now have health insurance and seniors in Alabama saved over $132 million in prescription costs in 2013 alone.”
Sewell says it’s critical that people understand that there are multiple ways to enroll—1) by visiting www. healthcare.gov, 2) by calling 1-800-318-2596 to speak with a patient navigator, or 3) by visiting a community health center in person.
Sewell has also been an advocate for Medicaid expansion in the state of Alabama. With the Affordable Care Act, states have the option to expand their Medicaid coverage to all adults with incomes below 133% of the poverty level, she said.
“The federal government will cover these costs for the first three years and provide 90 percent or more in federal support in the following years,” Sewell said. “It would therefore be economically and morally responsible for Alabama to expand Medicaid for the working poor and elderly across our state. It is my hope that our state will take the steps necessary to ensure that these 235,000 Alabamians are given the healthcare they deserve.”
Sewell in 2010 became the first African-American woman elected to Congress from Alabama. Since her first campaign, she has said that healthcare should be a right, not a fight, and she still believes that is of critical importance today. She said job creation and economic revitalization will also continue to be major priorities in her third term. Sewell supports President Obama’s plan “to build an economy that’s fairer for working people.”
Sewell sits on the House Financial Services Committee, an important position allowing her to be a voice for both the banking community and constituents seeking consumer protection. She also serves on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the Democratic Steering & Policy Committee, and is one of only eight Democrats in Congress to serve as Chief Deputy Whip.
For more information on Sewell’s re-election campaign, go to www.sewellforcongress.com.