Homecare workers play such an important role in supporting health and providing care, but many have little access to healthcare themselves. Things changed in Oregon when care workers organized with the help of SEIU 503 and reached an agreement with the State in 2013.
That agreement made it possible for thousands of homecare and personal support workers to access a great set of benefits, including financial assistance to help with healthcare costs. Today, over 8000 care workers in Oregon receive assistance from the Oregon Homecare Workers Supplemental Trust to help pay premiums and out-of-pocket expenses.
The Supplemental Trust is set up to work with the healthcare exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in March 2010. Besides controlling healthcare costs, the ACA also expanded protections for healthcare consumers: The law requires healthcare plans to cover pre-existing conditions, including pregnancy, at no extra cost; It makes it illegal for insurance companies to cancel your coverage when you get sick; It provides free preventive care; It allows young adults to stay on their parents’ plan until the age of 26; It raised the income limit for Medicaid eligibility, with almost 15 million Americans gaining coverage between 2013 and 2019.
As the ACA turns 10, what’s your experience of it? Has it changed your life for the better, and if yes, how so? If you have a story you want to share, the Healthcare Enrollment Team would love to hear it! Please call toll-free at 855-437-2694. If you have questions about healthcare benefits from the Trust, please visit the Trust website at orhomecaretrust.org for more information on eligibility and accessing benefits.