Video: Understanding the US healthcare and health insurance system

Are you feeling lost in your search for affordable health insurance? Do you know what to do if you need services that your insurance doesn't cover?

In this information session, Renata Marinaro, Managing Director of Health Services at Entertainment Community Fund, provides a basic introduction to the US health insurance system, explains variations between the different US states, and helps you figure out how to find insurance where you live.

Then Kheir Mugwaneza, Program Manager at the Allegheny Health Network's Center for Inclusion Health, talks about how to get access to health services if you are an immigrant or refugee without insurance or with inadequate coverage.

CLARIFICATION: One of the slides in the presentation about Medicaid eligibility suggests that people who have recently arrived in the United States may need to wait five years to qualify for Medicaid, the comprehensive national health insurance program for low-income people.

In fact, according to the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC), "Refugees, asylees, and other humanitarian immigrants are generally eligible for Medicaid upon entering the country and remain eligible for seven years."

There are some immigration statuses that require a five-year waiting period for eligibility, however, so it is important to look at the specific laws in one’s state of residence.

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