National Affordable Care Act Tribal Day of Action

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Contact: Jared King
Communications Director
Navajo Nation Washington Office
202-200-0625
jking@nnwo.org

For Immediate Release

National Affordable Care Act Tribal Day of Action

WASHINGTON—Today is the National Affordable Care Act Tribal Day of Action and it is a call by the White House to American Indians and Alaska Natives to find out what health insurance benefits and protections are available through the marketplace.

Navajo Nation citizens can view and compare available health insurance plans by going online, or obtaining local in-person assistance.

Although enrolled Navajo Nation citizens qualify for the tribal exemption, many may qualify based upon income for private health insurance plans at reduced or no cost premiums. Dr. Yvette Roubideaux, Acting Director of the Indian Health Service (IHS), has stated that one tribal member qualified for a full coverage health insurance plan for only $0.76 per month.

"One benefit to obtaining a health insurance plan through the marketplace is that they are portable. This means that an insured person can seek medical treatment where they want and is not bound to visiting Indian Health Service facilities. This is especially important for Navajos living outside the Navajo Nation and possibly no where near an IHS facility," said Navajo Nation Washington Office government and legislative affairs associate Carolyn Drouin.

Navajos who lack health insurance and decide not to participate in the marketplace, should complete the tribal exemption application to avoid paying a penalty with their taxes due next spring. Once obtained, the tribal exemption is a life-time exemption.

"The marketplace gives more options and control to Navajo patients over their health care decisions," added Drouin.

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