10 Ways Colleges and Universities Can Promote New Health Insurance Options

1. Educate Staff

Make sure that faculty, student services, and others who work directly with students know about the new health coverage options. 

State associations of community colleges, community college systems, and college administrations can learn more about the health coverage options and Health Insurance Marketplaces by going to getcoveredamerica.org/get-covered-101/. Share this information with the faculty, especially those who work closely with students on health-related matters.

2. Offer Information

Speak about the new health insurance options on campus and via the school’s websites, email and social media pages. 

Download consumer materials from healthcare.gov that explain the Health Insurance Marketplace and Medicaid, and display them wherever students gather. Embed the Health Insurance Marketplace widget on your website and social media pages. Send an email to the student body about new health care options and upcoming enrollment events

3. Encourage Dialogue

Have school counselors include health coverage messages when talking to students about school-life balance, mental or physical health, or college success. 

Students who are struggling with school-life balance, or who are already targeted for college success classes, may be more likely to be uninsured. By including these new health care options in college success curriculum, counseling sessions, or health clinics, counselors can connect students with the coverage they need, which in turn can help them in school.

4. Use Existing Processes

Build on your school’s enrollment and orientation procedures. 

If there’s not already a question about students’ health insurance status on the school’s enrollment forms, consider adding one; then follow up with students who are uninsured. Orientation packets could include information about health insurance or forms to fill out to get more information.

5. Incorporate Health Care at Existing Events

Include health coverage messages at special campus events. 

Invite local experts to speak at back-to-school activities, job fairs, and other events to share news about health coverage options and how to buy a plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace.

  • Example: Have a health table at school welcome-back weeks to provide students with information about health insurance options and upcoming enrollment events.

6. Special Outreach

Note that non-traditional students are less likely to have coverage. 

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, many students under the age of 26 will be covered through their parents’ insurance. But students older than 26 are more likely to be uninsured. Create outreach efforts events or programming that cater to older students.

7. Work With a Navigator

Partner with community organizations that offer application assistance. 

All states will have online applications, and people also will be able to apply by phone, by mail or in person. You can connect students with Navigators or Certified Application Counselors who can provide students with application assistance. Or invite a Navigator to campus, who may bring a laptop, or the school can designate a computer station for online applications.

8. Application Assistance Training

Encourage staff to take application assistance trainings, so they can offer students application assistance on-campus.

Staff members, especially in large schools and or systems, could learn to become CACs so they can help students apply for health coverage. Learn how to become trained at enrollamerica.org.

9. Provide Computer Access

Many students can apply without assistance but aren’t online. 

Whether it’s a computer lab or library, this helps students who do not have a computer or Internet access at home apply online.

10. Partner With Enroll America

Enroll America’s Get Covered America campaign is here to support any college or university that wants to reach out to their students about these new health insurance options more effectively. Our staff can help provide materials and guidance, run trainings or information sessions, and organize events with navigators and in-person assisters.

“Helping our students get covered is a retention strategy that will ensure that millions of the nation’s nearly 25 million undergraduates persist on the road to a degree. Make no mistake, we need them to succeed… 63 percent of the jobs created in the U.S. by 2018 will require college-level learning.” Eduardo Padrón, President of Miami Dade College

 

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