Notes & Noticias: Deadline March 31

Dear Friends,

There’s a big deadline coming up that can have a huge impact on you and your family.

March 31 is the last day to sign up for health insurance on the exchanges provided for the Affordable Care Act during this period of open enrollment.

Read on for what that means, and find out about enrollment events in Austin.

Affordable Care Act Deadline: March 31

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides quality, affordable health insurance to all Americans.

Here in Texas, where we have the highest rate of uninsured residents of any state, the law can have a tremendous impact on making sure people can access health care.

That’s why it’s important to spread the word about the upcoming enrollment deadline on March 31 and what’s at stake for you and your family. 

If you already have insurance through work, or are enrolled in Medicaid or Medicare, you’re all set. You don’t need to make any changes. In fact, the ACA is making your insurance work more efficiently and effectively, by removing lifetime caps on coverage and requiring that more of monthly premiums be spent on actual health care.

If you’re insured on your own, you should have already received a notice about whether your current plan meets the new standards for actual quality coverage. Even if your current insurance qualifies, you might still want to take a look on the health insurance marketplace at Healthcare.Gov to see if you can find a plan that better meets your needs or your budget. You can also qualify for a subsidy based on your income level.

If you’re uninsured, now is the time to sign up. Head over to Healthcare.Gov and create an account, then begin shopping for plans. You can also get help in person: click here to find a local in-person navigator who can help you sign up.

There are also several public events across Austin between now and the deadline where individuals can sign up for coverage.

Click here for a list of Get Covered events in Austin.

Every American must have health insurance for 9 months in 2014 to avoid paying a penalty on their income tax. It is imperative that you sign up and make sure your family has signed up to avoid this fine. 

After open enrollment closes on March 31, there won’t be another opportunity for uninsured individuals to sign up before October, so don’t delay, and don’t procrastinate — enroll as soon as possible before the March 31 deadline.

Need more information? Head on down to City Hall and Butler Park for today’s SXSW Rock Enroll events.

Here in Texas, almost 300,000 individuals have signed up for plans on the marketplace, and 8 out of 10 have received some form of financial assistance.

Join them, and make sure the people you care about get covered, too.

Kent Butler Summit: April 25

Water is one of the most pressing issues here in Central Texas. If you want to learn more about this issue and specifically how to address sustainability in the Barton Springs Aquifer region, please consider attending the 2nd Annual Kent Butler Summit.

The event is named after Butler, a man widely considered to be the best advocate Barton Springs Aquifer ever had, who tragically died in a hiking accident in 2011. It is a fitting honor that this conference carry his name and work on this issue forward.

The keynote address will be given by Carlos Rubinstein, Chairman of the Texas Water Development Board, and former commissioner of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. It promises to be a worthwhile event.

2nd Annual Kent Butler Summit
“Faucets, Toilets, and Automobiles:
Balancing Growth and Sustainability in the Barton Springs Aquifer Region”

Friday, April 25, 2014
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Click here to register

It is critical that we keep our attention on the water needs for future generations. I hope you will register and attend.

Give Blood: Today

The collision that claimed the lives of individuals last night on Red River was a tragedy, and my sympathies go out to everyone who was injured or is mourning the loss of a friend. I am confident that Chief Ace Acevedo and the Austin Police Department will do all they can to bring justice.

In the meantime, there is an urgent need for blood — specifically Type O — at The Blood Center of Central Texas. Supplies were already low before this incident, so please consider giving the gift of life and head to a donation center today to spare a pint.

Click here for locations where you can give blood.

Thanks again for reading another edition of Notes and Noticias, and please stay safe out there.