Enroll America Expands Program to Include Recruiting New In-Person Assisters for Affordable Care Act Enrollment

Working with Partner Organizations in States across Country, Enroll America Aims to Recruit and Train more than 2,000 New Certified Application Counselors

For Immediate Release
Wednesday, October 1, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC – Enroll America announced today that they are expanding their health insurance education and outreach program to include recruiting new in-person assisters, and plan to find and train more than 2,000 new Certified Application Counselors (CACs) on key outreach and organizing best practices over the course of the second Affordable Care Act open enrollment period. The new push to expand the number of assisters available to help consumers sign up for a plan comes as the national enrollment coalition that helped to enroll more than 14 million in Medicaid and Marketplace coverage shifts into high gear ahead of the second open enrollment period, which begins on November 15. Working with state partners, Enroll America is launching a series of trainings for new CAC recruits. Each training is jointly hosted with an in-person assister organization which provides the training on the assistance itself, while Enroll America staff provide training on outreach, event management, and more. In addition, Enroll America will provide ongoing logistical support, materials, and consumer recruitment to make sure the new assisters have everything they need to be successful.

“Last year we worked closely with in-person assister organizations across the country, and we saw first-hand how important it was that consumers could sit down with someone from their community to complete the enrollment process,” said Anne Filipic, President of Enroll America. “This year, our hundreds of organizers and thousands of volunteers will be working to bring even more people into this rewarding role, and making sure they have the training and support they need to be successful.”

Enroll America’s data from the first open enrollment period showed that consumers who received in-person assistance were more than twice as likely to successfully complete enrollment as those who attempted to enroll online without help. And according to a post-open enrollment survey conducted by PerryUndem, hard-to-reach communities are particularly eager to find help in their community: African-Americans and Latinos were 43% more likely to seek in-person help than their white counterparts. The critical importance of in-person assistance received national attention at the end of the first enrollment period, when television shows and newspapers featured pictures of long lines stretching around enrollment events at sites like the Alamodome in San Antonio.

This year, Enroll America is partnering with the enrollment coalitions in target states to recruit new volunteers – from churches, clinics, and food banks, as well as nursing schools and law schools – to train and get certified as CACs, to make sure as many consumers as possible can find someone to walk them through the enrollment process one-on-one. In Ohio, where the enrollment coalition that includes Health Care Action Now and Southeast, Inc has already launched a similar program in Cincinnati and Columbus, more than 80 new CACs have already been recruited and trained. Other states aren’t far behind: Florida is partnering with the Health Council of South Florida and other state stakeholders to recruit new voluntary assisters, and planning for assister trainings across the state including one in Miami in early November at Miami Dade College before open enrollment begins. And in Houston, TX, Gateway to Care is working directly with Enroll America Texas and the City of Houston to increase the number of assisters certified to work in the city.

In order to strengthen partnerships in target cities and prepare for the second open enrollment, Enroll America has maintained its more than 200 staff in 11 target states around the country. More than 30,000 volunteers donated time to the outreach campaign during the first open enrollment period; about a third of those have already taken action ahead of the second enrollment period and that number continues to rise as the start date approaches. In addition to face-to-face outreach to the uninsured and CAC recruitment, Enroll America is also continuing to improve our online tools – like the Get Covered Calculator – that allow consumers to get quick, personalized information about what is available to them.

About Get Covered America and Enroll America

Get Covered America is a national campaign of Enroll America that is focused on educating consumers about the benefits of health coverage and the new health insurance options available under the Affordable Care Act. With operations in eleven states (AZ, FL, GA, IL, MI, NC, NJ, OH, PA, TN and TX), our grassroots team is powered by passionate staff and volunteers with one motivating goal: to give Americans the information they need to choose an affordable health insurance plan that’s right for them and their families.

Enroll America is the nation’s leading health care enrollment coalition, bringing together community and health organizations, businesses and others to inform consumers about new health coverage options and how to enroll in them. It is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.

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