10 Examples of How Assisters and Diverse Coalitions Made OE4 a Success

By Ambar J. Calvillo-Rivera

Last week marked the end of the fourth open enrollment period (OE4) for the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces, and assisters and community partners across the country celebrated a successful finish, despite the challenges and confusion they had to counter. On Friday, the Department of Health and Human Services announced 9.2 million consumers in the 39 states that use HealthCare.gov selected plans during this open enrollment period. This wouldn’t be possible without the commitment and tireless work of enrollment assisters, leaders, and coalitions across the country. Here are just 10 examples of how the unwavering spirit of assisters and coalitions got the job done.

1. National organizations boosted their efforts by participating in coordinated actions every single day for the last 10 days of open enrollment with simple and effective organizing tactics.

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2. Feeding America, the leading nonprofit organization with a nationwide network of more than 200 food banks, recognized that individuals and families experiencing food insecurity are often making tough choices between food and health coverage. They provided a convenient opportunity for individuals to receive health coverage enrollment assistance, by simply adding a link to the Get Covered Connector tool in the Online SNAP Referral Program. To date, 29 food banks have participated, garnering over 1,850 clicks on the link to the Get Covered Connector.

3. In Colorado, the Aurora Coverage Assistance Network Assistance Network and Servicios de la Raza invested in Spanish-language earned media and community partnerships, that led to hundreds of people attending an enrollment event the last weekend of OE4.

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4. In North Carolina, assisters and consumers alike couldn’t hide their joy at enrollment events. Assisters throughout the state made sure to serve rural communities, to ensure as many people as possible had the opportunity to enroll with in-person help.

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In Raleigh, North Carolina a woman got covered and was so excited that she dressed up in a heart costume to wear how she felt, during an enrollment event.

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A couple got covered at an LGBT enrollment event in Asheville, NC being hosted by a Get Covered Academy partner, Pisgah Legal Services. They said they had “given up hope” prior to coming to tonight’s event.

5. In Florida, coalitions and assisters throughout the state hosted enrollment events and enrolled people late into the evenings, making sure every person that walked in was helped.

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(On the left) Enrollment event in North Miami at the Betty T. Ferguson Recreation Center. (On the Right) Assisters in Palm Beach, Florida take a picture with the first enrollee of the night.

6. Similarly, assisters in San Antonio, TX greeted long lines and helped people late into the evening hours on January 31st.

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Lines of families waiting to get in-person assistance at an event by the Enroll San Antonio Coalition.

7. In Tennessee, volunteers lead the way, by making sure as many people are contacted and informed about enrollment events in their area and important information about the deadlines.

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Ruth and Julie have been volunteers for years, working behind the scene, investing thousands of hours by helping organize other volunteers, outreach and enrollment events, and more to ensure Tennesseans get covered and stay covered.

8. Pennsylvania Get Covered Academy partners joined the Civic Engagement Fair at the Philadelphia Library leading up to the enrollment deadline.  The library was used to screen people for their coverage status and referring them to enrollment sites throughout the city.

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(On top) Navigators Jess Wood and Samson Cho, with U.S. Representative Dwight Evans. (On bottom) People going through the Civic Engagement Fair at the Philadelphia Library, where health coverage screening was being offered.

9. Earlier this month DC Health Link partnered with Midtown Barbershop for their MLK Jr. Week of Action. It was such a success that they went back for the final enrollment push on the last weekend before the deadline.

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DC Health Link sharing information about the upcoming deadline and health coverage at Midtown Barbershop in Ward 4, Washington D.C.

10. Going for a strong finish, DC Health Link continued its partnership with a popular landmark D.C. restaurant, Ben’s Chili Bowl, to provide onsite enrollment and information.

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DC Health Link on its last stop of the “24-Hour Plus Enrollment Marathon-Relay” at Ben’s Chili Bowl.

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