With 11 days left in the open enrollment period of the Affordable Care Act, health care leaders join forces to help uninsured Americans understand their coverage options and select a plan.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 20, 2016
Washington, DC – With just eleven days left in the current open enrollment period of the Affordable Care Act, Enroll America and key partners from across the country launched the second annual national Provider and Hospital Week of Action to provide enrollment resources to uninsured Americans and highlight the critical and longstanding role that health care providers play in the lives of the people they serve every day. Throughout the week, Get Covered America and partner hospitals will be hosting informational sessions, health fairs, and events for consumers to meet with free, in-person enrollment assisters that can answer their questions, walk them through the enrollment process, and help them select a plan that fits their needs and budget.
Studies by Enroll America show that hospitals and health care providers are among the most trusted voices for the uninsured when they have questions about their coverage choices. This is true across age, sex, and socioeconomic status, positioning hospitals and health care providers as a critical voice to the uninsured who stand to benefit from the quality, affordable health insurance made available by the Affordable Care Act.
“As we work in communities across the country, we consistently see that consumers look to health care providers as a trusted source for information about their coverage options and their health care decisions,” said Anne Filipic, President of Enroll America. “That’s why we’re focusing on bridging the gap between the uninsured and the experts that they look to for help. We’re working with these community leaders because we’re dedicated to ensuring that every consumer receives accurate information and access to the resources they need to successfully enroll in coverage.”
Another study by Enroll America shows that in-person enrollment assistance was critical to the uninsured enrolling in a plan during the first two enrollment periods. In fact, someone who worked with an enrollment expert was 60% more likely to successfully enroll in a plan compared to those who tried to enroll online without help during the second enrollment period.
Recognizing the importance of access to in-person enrollment help, the Grady Health System in Atlanta works closely with Enroll America and other qualified organizations to ensure their patients have access to the most robust and reliable support network to receive information and assistance. Grady makes staff and other in-person enrollment assisters available to walk consumers through their coverage options and help them with the enrollment process to ensure they are making the best health coverage decision for themselves and their family.
“We know that Americans in communities across the country look to hospitals and doctors as trusted voices when they make health care decisions,” said Chip Kahn, President and CEO of the American Federation of Hospital and member of Enroll America’s Board of Directors. “That’s why hospitals have taken the lead in letting uninsured consumers know we’re here to help them make the best coverage decision for themselves and their families. All Americans deserve access to quality, affordable health coverage, making a coordinated effort between Enroll America and its local community-based partners, like hospitals, so important.”
This second annual Provider and Hospital Week of Action comes with less than two weeks left in the third open enrollment period of the Affordable Care Act. For the next eleven days, uninsured and underinsured Americans can shop for a plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace and enroll in a plan that fits their needs and budget. If they do not take action and get coverage before then, they will face a fine of at least $695 – on top of having to pay out-of-pocket for any treatment in the coming year.
“The Catholic Health Association, along with our hospital and health system members across the country, looks forward to the day when every single person is guaranteed quality, affordable health coverage,” said Sister Carol Keehan, President and CEO of the Catholic Health Association. “We are making tremendous progress through the marketplaces and Medicaid expansion. Now, we must once again raise the volume on our education efforts to connect even more people with the coverage they need and deserve, especially as the current open enrollment period reaches its conclusion. My thanks go out to Catholic health care providers and everyone else working on behalf of those who still need health care.”
Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that more than 11.3 million Americans signed up for coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace during the first two months of open enrollment, which began on November 1, 2015. Of those who enrolled, eight in ten qualified for financial help to lower their monthly premiums and make their plans more affordable.
“Access and coverage for all has been an organizational priority for Catholic Health Initiatives since its formation twenty years ago, and the implementation of the ACA is a significant step toward achieving this goal,” said Colleen Scanlon, Senior Vice President and Chief Advocacy Officer for Englewood, Colorado-based Catholic Health Initiatives. “CHI has actively partnered with Enroll America and others for all three years of open enrollment, working to ensure that individuals obtain and keep health insurance that will provide them with access to affordable health care. The Provider and Hospital Week of Action is an important opportunity to enhance our existing efforts, as well as a reminder that enrollment efforts should be ongoing. We must seek opportunities to engage our communities throughout the year.”
While enrollment through the Health Insurance Marketplace closes on January 31, enrollment into Medicaid and CHIP is year round.
“At Trinity Health, we believe a people-centered health system starts with getting people insurance coverage,” said Tina Grant, JD, Vice President of Public Policy and State Advocacy for Trinity Health. “Across the United States, Trinity Health hospitals along with our payer partners are reaching out to more than one million uninsured people to offer assistance in exploring health insurance options during this open enrollment period. For example, St. Mary Medical Center in Langhorne, Pennsylvania has partnered directly with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and Catholic Social services to support enrollment and information centers six days a week. Offering bilingual access at one site, the centers have provided marketplace and Medicaid enrollment support to hundreds of area residents.”
Anyone who wants to schedule an appointment with an enrollment assister can find one in their community by visiting the Get Covered Connector at www.GCAConnector.org.
National partners for Provider and Hospital Week of Action include:
America’s Essential Hospitals
American Federation of Hospitals
American Hospital Association
Catholic Health Association
Catholic Health Initiatives
Doctors for America
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 6,700 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.