The election of Donald Trump and Mike Pence has Americans wondering how their health care options will be affected. During Trump’s campaign, he spoke of plans to revoke Obamacare. Although we are unsure if he will actually follow through with these plans, disassembling the Affordable Health Care act will increase the number of uninsured Americans by 22 million according to the Congressional Budget Office. If you are worried you will be affected, don’t panic yet! Here’s how to prepare for the next four years:
1. If you have Obamacare, speak up and don’t stop paying your premiums:
Even if the ACA is taken away, there is no clarification on how quickly health insurance will actually change. If changes are announced contact your legislative representatives and tell them how changes to the law will affect you. “If enough people show their elected representatives how this change would adversely affect them, there is a possibility that some aspects of the law will be protected,” Miriam Laugesen, an associate professor at Columbia University and the author of a book on medical pricing, told The Huffington Post. Laugesen urges Americans not to panic because changes to benefits may be difficult due to the fact that 2017 contracts are already defined in terms of the benefits covered and benefits are not so easy to change over night.
2. If you are currently uninsured, sign up for Obama Care (ASAP):
Laugesen explains that there is a possibility that people who have already signed up will be grandfathered in, and the enrollment will be closed after January 20th. If you’re uninsured and don’t have coverage through your employer, signing up before January 20th would be a smart move.
3. Make a birth control plan with your doctor:
Pence, trumps running mate is known for his pro-life policies, he signed an omnibus bill requiring doctors to offer women fetal remains after an abortion. was known for his pro-life policies during his one-term governorship in Indiana, including an omnibus bill he signed requiring doctors to offer women fetal remains after an abortion.
The reality of America and the Trump-Pence presidency has gotten women to start considering long-lasting reversible contraceptives that last between three and 10 years, like the intrauterine devices. These devices are currently free for women under the ACA and an IUD can cost up to $1,000 dollars without insurance, according to Planned Parenthood.
Dr. Kristyn Brandi, an instructor at Boston University School of Medicine whose specialties include contraception and abortion care advises women to seek care as soon as possible if this is something that is important to their health because it may become more complicated during the next administration.
4. If you are due for a screening, GET IT NOW:
Women who have reached menopause or are past normal childbearing years should be on top of their age appropriate screenings such as mammograms, bone density scans, vaccines, and addressing conditions like urinary or sexual incontinence. These conditions and screenings can be very costly and need to be addressed just in case they’re not covered in the future.
Health services have never been fair or equally distributed throughout our nation and this cutback will worsen this issue, but it is not too late to protect yourself. If you are women of low-income, women of color, young women or immigrant women it is expected that access to health care will become more difficult in the future. Take advantage of Obamacare while you can, stay healthy and hopeful.