- Funding Opportunities for CAC Organizations
CACs do not receive funding from the marketplace. Instead, CAC organizations typically support the program through their existing budget or can seek funding from other sources to support their program. CAC organizations can also build on existing strengths, community partnerships, and strong volunteer networks to contribute in a meaningful way, even without dedicated funding or staff. We know that there is continued demand for in-person assistance, and by providing additional in-person assistance capacity within the community, CAC organizations will make it more likely that consumers will get enrolled.
- Recruiting Individual CACs
CAC organizations will likely find many different types of individuals to serve as individual CACs; some will redefine existing employee responsibilities, some will hire new employees, and some will recruit volunteers.
Leveraging Volunteers to Build a Sustainable Program
Recruiting new volunteer CACs will be a priority for many organizations; volunteer recruitment will allow organizations to expand their scope using limited existing resources. In preparation for the second open enrollment period, Enroll America has been working to help new and existing CAC organizations identify and recruit individual CACs. If you would like to speak with someone from Enroll America about partnership opportunities, email CACinfo@EnrollAmerica.org. Organizations may also find that the following entities are good places to begin volunteer recruitment:
- Civic organizations (such as service organizations or professional associations)
- Faith-based organizations
- Colleges and Universities
- Sororities and fraternities (alumni and current students)
- Law schools
- Graduate schools
- Special programs or schools within a university (for example, schools of public health or social work)
Organizations should also consider reaching out to existing partners to see if their staff and/or volunteers are interested in becoming individual CACs. This is a way for existing partners—that may not have the capacity to become a CAC organization themselves—to engage in this work and offer their help. Building a sustainable volunteer program can take considerable time and early investment in programming, partnerships, and training. But, if done well, using volunteers is a long-term strategy that will allow CAC organizations to continue to connect individuals to coverage in the absence of other funding streams for enrollment assistance. These are a few principles of successful volunteer management that organizations working with volunteer CACs may want to consider when developing their volunteer program:
- Find a place for everyone. Because volunteers will come to CAC organizations with an array of skill sets, backgrounds, and interests, it’s important to provide a variety of ways for prospective volunteers to contribute. These contributions can be providing enrollment assistance, providing assistance to consumers on the account creation process only, helping manage logistics at enrollment events, conducting outreach, greeting people as they come to the event, shredding paper containing consumers’ personal information, etc. Volunteers who are not providing application assistance do not need to be trained as CACs.
- Communicate regularly and have regular check-ins with volunteers through different channels (in-person meetings, email updates, etc.). This ensures that volunteers are enjoying and learning from their volunteer experience, and organizations are communicating goals and sharing important updates and training.
- Set goals to motivate volunteers and help volunteers understand what it means to contribute in a meaningful way. Goal-setting will also help organizations understand the learning needs of volunteers.
- Invest in training. Create opportunities for volunteers to learn new skills and provide a way for volunteers to share best practices with one another.
- Celebrate everyone’s work as a way to keep volunteers motivated and appreciated, and to encourage new enrollees to spread the word to their family and friends. For example, at enrollment events, consider ringing a bell after each successful enrollment as a way to congratulate CACs, promote camaraderie, and encourage those still working their way through the enrollment process.
- Keep track of volunteers, the events they attend, the goals they have, and the work they do. Developing a way to recognize volunteers that have met their goals can also be a part of this process.
- Importance of Coordination and Partnering
CAC organizations have the opportunity to work with partners to collectively maximize resources, broaden scope, and increase overall impact. Groups that CAC organizations can partner with include, but are not limited to, advocacy organizations, other CAC organizations, in-person assistance entities (such as Navigators or In-Person Assisters), agents and brokers, civic organizations, social service agencies, small businesses, and local government officials. Before establishing new partnerships, it is important to prioritize organizational need, understand capacity, and assess the benefits of establishing additional partnerships.
Partnering with Other In-Person Assistance Entities
Working with other local in-person assistance entities is a natural partnership that can be mutually beneficial. These partnerships look different and vary widely. Successful partnerships may include these components:
- Coordinating schedules between different entities
- Sharing office/client meeting space
- Developing a working group to identify consumer need/consumer issues
- Creating referral networks among assisters
- Conducting application and enrollment assistance training
- Conducting training on outreach and in-reach
To help assisters with setting up appointments, Enroll America has developed a scheduling tool, called the Get Covered Connector. The Connector allows in-person assisters to better manage their schedules and allows consumers to find assistance in their local area. To learn more about the Get Covered Connector, email Connector@EnrollAmerica.org.
Partnering with Other Organizations
Other organizations that have a stake or interest in health coverage enrollment, but do not assist consumers with the application and enrollment process, can be just as effective as partners. These partners often have a deep understanding of the communities they serve and can bring a unique perspective to the table. Many of these partners have a strong volunteer base or additional resources that they can leverage. Below is a table showing examples of these potential partners and the type of work they can do to help CACs.
Type of PartnerExamples of How Partner Can Help CACs Advocacy organizations (such as those representing consumers, immigrants, and people with disabilities) Provide support on eligibility and enrollment issues Faith-based organizations Conduct outreach and in-reach to congregation members and refer members to CACs Legal aid societies Take referrals from CACs for consumers in the appeal process Labor organizations Volunteer for outreach events hosted by CACs Tax preparers Refer tax preparation customers to CACs Racial and ethnic organizations Conduct outreach and in-reach to community members and refer members to CACs Local government officials Conduct outreach to constituents Small businesses Refer employees to CACs Local and ethnic media Raise awareness of upcoming enrollment events that CACs are hosting Groups engaged in health insurance literacy Produce and share health insurance literacy materials and trainings with CACs Libraries, community centers, schools Provide space and computers for CACs to host enrollment events Community colleges Provide space and computers for CACs to host enrollment events and notify students of the availability of CACs
Approaches to Creating Strong Partnerships
To be effective as a coalition member or in one-on-one partner relationships, each organization should identify and focus on their strengths, recognize their limitations, and divide responsibilities accordingly. Communities may already have established coalitions that CACs can participate in that emphasize each partner’s strengths. For CACs that are creating new partnerships, however, it may be helpful to consider:
- Defining shared goals, priorities, and objectives
- Establishing clear roles and responsibilities
- Creating reasonable expectations for communication
- Defining the scope of the partnership