Using targeted outreach, Enroll America and thousands of partners are spreading
the word that consumers have until April 30 to enroll through the new tax filing SEP
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 9, 2015
WASHINGTON – As Americans across the country hurry to file their taxes before the annual deadline, Enroll America is working hard to reach consumers who are eligible for the time-limited tax filing special enrollment period (SEP) ending on April 30. With the help of dedicated staff, volunteers, and thousands of partners across the country, Enroll America is using digital messaging, grassroots tactics, and partnership outreach programs to make sure that those who qualify are aware of the opportunity to enroll now.
“During the past two open enrollment periods, we were able to reach millions of Americans with the information they needed to enroll in and retain health coverage through the Affordable Care Act—but we know that some consumers missed the message and were fined on their taxes for not having health insurance,” said Anne Filipic, President of Enroll America. “The new tax filing SEP allows us to answer questions and connect affected consumers with information and resources they need to enroll so they can have health coverage for the rest of 2015 and avoid paying the full fine when they file their taxes next year.”
The tax filing SEP is only available to consumers who are subject to the fine for not having health coverage on their 2014 taxes because they did not understand how the fine would affect them, so Enroll America is taking a narrower, more targeted approach than was used during the open enrollment period when a much larger pool of consumers were able to sign up. Using their cutting edge data targeting model, Enroll America has identified consumers who are most likely to qualify for this SEP, and staff and volunteers have called thousands of them to make sure they know about this opportunity and connect them with enrollment assistance.
Across the country, Enroll America’s on-the-ground staff are shaping outreach programs to fit each state’s unique partnerships and resources:
- In Pennsylvania, Enroll America teamed up with the Campaign for Working Families and Ceiba to provide free tax preparation in English and Spanish to dozens of Philadelphia families at tax-preparation events where enrollment assisters are on hand to walk consumers through the enrollment process on site, or schedule a future appointment.
- In Florida, long-standing partners at Miami-Dade College already provide tax services to their students, and invited Enroll America to share information about the new tax implications of the law.
- In North Carolina, Enroll America is hosting trainings and providing resources to the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) organizations who are working directly with low-income consumers on their taxes.
- In Arizona, staff are working with local tax preparation organizations to connect the uninsured to local assisters for in-person assistance.
With over 100 partnerships focused on the tax filing SEP, Enroll America is spreading the word and identifying eligible consumers to engage. Through closely working with both enrollment assisters and tax preparers across the country, Enroll America is connecting with consumers who are eligible to enroll before April 30 and following up with more information about the benefits of health insurance and the chance they have to enroll in coverage for this year. Partnerships with VITA sites that provide free tax assistance to low-income Americans and other vulnerable populations are especially important in finding and following up with consumers who are eligible from this new opportunity.
Using the popular Get Covered Connector online tool, consumers can still schedule free appointments with an in-person assister to receive free expert help in their community. Since the tax filing SEP began in March, nearly 5,000 appointments with in-person assisters have been made using the Connector. Enroll America will also provide information about the SEP through social media, blog posts, and email blasts to over 1.3 million consumers to provide more information to help consumers determine if they are eligible to enroll in coverage during this window. Because consumers are motivated by deadlines, Enroll America will continue to engage consumers online and emphasize the deadline as April 30 nears.
About Enroll America and Get Covered America
Enroll America is the nation’s leading health care enrollment coalition. An independent nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, Enroll America works with more than 4,600 partners in all 50 states to create cutting-edge tools, analyze data, inform policy, and share best practices in service of its mission: maximizing the number of Americans who enroll in and retain health coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
The Get Covered America campaign was created in 2013 to inform millions of eligible consumers about their new health insurance options, and has been tested, refined, and proven successful through two enrollment cycles. Get Covered America programs and tools are now being utilized by partners in enrollment efforts nationwide, supported by more than 100 Enroll America staff working both nationally and on-the-ground in targeted communities across the country.