Bridging the gap between health disparities - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Bridging the gap between health disparities

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The deadline to sign up for the Affordable Care Act has now passed, and the government is hoping with more than 10 million people signed up, the gap in health disparities will dissipate. 

Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice, the current and first female president of Morehouse School of Medicine, spoke to hundreds of residents in the valley during the 30th annual Black History Observance at the Columbus Convention and Trade Center. 

During her speech she talked about breaking health barriers, including the ability for all people to received the quality care they deserve.

"How do we build this bridge between healthcare and health, it's not just about how we deliver care, but it's also about who has the opportunity to receive quality care," Montgomery Rice said. 

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, health disparities are a result of multiple factors including poverty, educational inequalities, and inadequate access to healthcare. Their research shows the numbers may be skewed because of the lack of data from certain sexes, races, and ethnicities. 

The Affordable Care Act is a way for the government to get new numbers and get better data from formerly uninsured Americans. 

"I think the Affordable Care Act has been a good thing for this country. It has removed some of the barriers to access but we know it will not stop all of the problems,” she said. 

If you missed the February 15 deadline to enroll for the Affordable Care Act, you can still get coverage.

Healthcare.gov said if you can still get coverage if tried to enroll by February 15 but ran into technical issues with the website or the call center or of you mailed a paper application and received a notice to complete your enrollment. 

You can also get coverage through the special enrollment period if there is a life event that changes your family status. 

Open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act started in November 2013, since that time more than 10 million Americans have signed up.

You can find more information on the Affordable Care Act and health disparities at the links below. 

http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/initiatives/prevention/strategy/elimination-of-health-disparities 

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