The ACA open enrollment period has passed but North Carolina is hoping to assist fruit and vegetable pickers.
Migrant workers – who are very common in agriculture, particularly when the harvesting seasons begin – are integral to the food production industry are receiving assistance from the Affordable Care Act in the form of an event that will make it easier for them to purchase health plans that will provide them with medical insurance coverage.
This event is being run under the ACA and was sponsored by Get Covered America and the North American Farmworkers Project.
People who are experiencing certain life events still have the opportunity to be eligible for a special type of enrollment period for purchasing health plans through the insurance exchanges. Among them are a change in immigration status, or marriage. This makes many migrant workers who move to the U.S. on agricultural work visas eligible to take advantage of this chance to buy health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
North Carolina is now helping those agricultural workers to find the health plans they need under the ACA.
According to Caitlin Metzguer, from Enroll America, “Here in Eastern North Carolina, where the tobacco grows tall and lush, Mexican farm workers arrive in healthy numbers every summer, and they say signing up will help keep them healthy.”
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These agricultural workers are required to purchase their health insurance coverage inside of 60 days of arriving in the state. Once they have purchased their enrollment, their policy will cover their basic care, including physicals, visits to the doctor’s office, and hospital stays. The average premiums for one of those plans within North Carolina is $80 per month.
Metzguer also pointed out that the vast majority of the people who enroll in health insurance through the exchanges – 93 percent – are able to obtain financial assistance that will cover part of the premiums that they will face throughout the time that they are in the state and working.
For many of the migrant workers, this will not only ensure that they will be able to afford health care services, should the need arise while they are in the United States, but these health plans also provide them with peace of mind.