|  November 23, 2014  |  
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Begich Fights to Protect Most Vulnerable Alaskans

Urges ACA Fix for Victims of Domestic Violence

U.S. Senator Mark Begich is fighting to fix the Affordable Care Act so that victims of domestic violence will be able to receive the health care subsidies they deserve even if they are still legally married to their abuser. 

Under current enrollment practices, victims may be unable to qualify for subsidies because their income is still being calculated by their married income.  However, studies show that victims of domestic violence usually experience a significant decrease in income when they decide to leave an abusive marriage. 

In a letter today to the heads of the Treasury Department and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Begich urged proper implementation of the ACA and a swift correction of this policy, which otherwise could deny health care access to those who need it most. 

“I write to urge you to address an urgent matter regarding victims of domestic abuse who currently are unable to fully realize the benefits of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  It has come to my attention that some of these victims are facing unique barriers to qualifying for lower monthly premium payments as they search for and purchase health care coverage,” Begich wrote.  “I urge you to act together to swiftly implement policies allowing victims of domestic abuse to access the level of tax credits they deserve even if there are obstacles to their ability to file joint tax returns.”

The ACA includes preventive services to help break the cycle of abuse, such as free screenings for interpersonal and domestic violence.

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