We’re getting down to the wire: in less than two weeks the Health Insurance Marketplaces open, and enrollment will open in October for health coverage that begins January 1, 2014. Earlier this week, President Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius held a phone call for all community organizations that are focused on outreach and enrollment, including health centers. On that call, Secretary Sebelius said that we are “on the edge of history,” approaching the “moment that provided health security to millions of Americans.”
Below are some key links for the final push to help educate the uninsured on their options for gaining insurance:
Enroll America is an organization created to “maximize the number of uninsured Americans who enroll in health coverage made available by the Affordable Care Act.” Its website is a well-organized clearinghouse of current information for those focused on outreach and enrollment, and includes tips for outreach planning, talking with patients about their options, and up-to-date information in webinar, report and blog form: http://www.enrollamerica.org/
Consumer information about the Health Insurance Marketplace is available here: https://www.healthcare.gov/
Employer and provider information about the health insurance marketplaces, navigator training, and many factsheets for providers, employers and small businesses is available at this link: http://marketplace.cms.gov/
Navigator training requirements for state and federal Marketplaces available from HRSA here: http://www.bphc.hrsa.gov/outreachandenrollment/
The National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) has many other helpful links related to outreach and enrollment here: http://www.nachc.com/Info%20on%20Outreach%20and%20Enrollment.cfm
At NACHC’s August Community Health Institute, Jim Macrae, Associate Administrator for Primary Health Care, Health Resources and Services Administration, suggested that health centers consider hiring veterans as their outreach and enrollment staff. As of September 2013 there are an estimated 22 million veterans across the country. Data on the veteran population by county as well as by congressional district is available at the Department of Veteran Affairs website: http://www.va.gov/vetdata/veteran_population.asp. To conduct outreach to veterans start with Veterans Service Organizations, a directory of which is at this link: http://www.va.gov/vso/.