Get Covered America’s #GotCovered Series: Enrollment Stories Show Effectiveness of Outreach Efforts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 26, 2014
CONTACT: Justin Nisly
Press@enrollamerica.org | 202-601-2494

“State of Enrollment” Report Offers Most Detailed Look Yet at Enrollment Campaign that Helped 14 Million Americans Find Coverage

Washington, DC – Last week, over 900 enrollment leaders from 48 states came together in Washington, DC for Enroll America’s first national conference to look back on the success of the first open enrollment period and make plans for the next one coming in November. At the conference, Enroll America released the “State of Enrollment” report, the most comprehensive look yet at the successful strategies that engaged consumers in their communities and online. Millions of Americans now have access to quality, affordable coverage thanks in part to an outreach campaign that focused on reaching consumers repeatedly and in a variety of ways, helping consumers find in-person enrollment assistance in their neighborhoods, and engaging community leaders as trusted messengers to share information with their social circles. The three stories that follow demonstrate the transformational power that outreach can have.

Uninsured consumers often need repeated engagement in order to successfully make it all the way through the enrollment process.

Reinette Batson, a cancer survivor from Newport, North Carolina, didn’t need to be convinced of the importance of purchasing health coverage. Unfortunately, her pre-existing conditions and part-time employment kept insurance just out of her reach. When she tried to enroll online by herself, she just couldn’t get through. After talking with Get Covered America at a tabling event, she received a few phone call reminders from our volunteers, and then made an appointment with a navigator, who also turned out to be a family friend. The third time someone from Get Covered America reached out to Reinette in January, she was eager to share the news of her enrollment and coverage that began in February. She chose a silver tier plan with a $500 deductible and a monthly premium that cost her next to nothing thanks to the financial assistance she is eligible for. After her appointment, she Xeroxed her navigator’s business cards and handed them out to friends. Reinette says, “If I can do it, everyone can do it. There is just no excuse not to anymore.”

Consumers who received in-person assistance from a navigator, certified application counselor, or other assister were about twice as likely to successfully enroll in coverage.

Like Reinette, Wanda Mills from Coatesville, Pennsylvania was able to secure coverage for less than $5 a month after multiple contacts from Get Covered America staff and volunteers. After completing a contact card at a tabling event in November, Wanda received a follow-up call in December from a volunteer who also worked as a Certified Application Counselor. During that call, they arranged to meet at Wanda’s house where the volunteer helped her complete her application on the spot. Wanda has already used her coverage for preventive screenings and even convinced her son to get covered as well.

Engaging community partners like faith leaders is an effective way to reach the uninsured with information from a source they trust.

Faith communities, like Providence Baptist near McDonough, Georgia, know their congregations are stronger and more secure with affordable health care access. That’s why Linda Spike’s church arranged a health care enrollment information session for the community. Linda says she has gone for years without visiting a doctor because she couldn’t afford coverage for herself. As a custodian at the church, she has always worked hard to make ends meet and tried her best to stay healthy at the same time. Armed with the information provided at her church and with some help from her daughter, Linda and two other church members were able to sign up. She says, “It’s just like getting a brand new life.” For less than a dollar a month after financial assistance, she is finally enjoying the security of health coverage.

To speak with any of these consumers or others like them, please contact Enroll America at press@enrollamerica.org.

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