“Health Care in the Jewish Community” Action Guide

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“Health Care in the Pulpit” (HCP) is a highly successful national program that Get Covered America (GCA) is launching with national partners to ensure the faith community continues to be engaged in the education and outreach efforts around the Affordable Care Act open enrollment period. The goal of these events is to inspire people of faith to take action in their communities in support of new health coverage options made available by the Affordable Care Act. “Health Care in the Jewish Community” (HCJC) is the component of this program directed to the Jewish community.

This “Health Care in the Jewish Community Action Guide” includes an outline of the process of conducting events followed by an event calendar.

Important information regarding the Jewish Community

Please note that in Judaism, “work” is not permitted on the Sabbath, so it may not be appropriate to hold outreach events after services as you might in other houses of worship. There are, however, other opportunities—during/after social action committee meetings, Hillel discussions, temple youth group meetings, parent sessions held during Sunday school, men’s clubs or sisterhood meetings, adult study groups and holiday fairs—which could be acceptable.

In addition, many local Jewish organizations may be interested in taking the lead in the activities below. Jewish civic organizations are traditional cornerstones for social and civic engagement, financial stability/mobility and a point of cultural pride and belonging in the Jewish community. These organizations can serve as crucial points of contact for engaging trusted messengers. Some key organization types are:

  • Jewish community centers
  • Senior centers
  • Advocacy organizations
  • Jewish Sororities
  • Jewish Fraternities
  • Professional associations
  • Social clubs
  • Parent organizations
  • Social service organizations
  • Jewish hospitals and medical centers
  • Literacy centers

Please feel free to design the program that best suits your specific religious community needs.1

Program Overview

The three activities described below could be conducted in the Jewish community during the enrollment period.

  • Conduct a “Health Care in the Jewish Community” Tabling Event. Religious leader(s) and other Jewish community representatives speak on the impact of being uninsured and the value of enrolling in health coverage during appropriate synagogue or community events; volunteers sit at a table with information about the law and recruit others to volunteer.
  • Launch a “Heal the Neighborhood” Health Outreach Team. Activate your current health/outreach team to receive training by Get Covered America to conduct outreach in your local Jewish community. If you do not yet have a health outreach team, consider launching one through this program.
  • Host a “Health Care Enrollment Summit”. Connect with the Jewish organizations in your community and plan a Health Care Enrollment Summit made up of panelists from the religious community, and health advocacy and community-based organizations. The Summit offers an opportunity to educate and engage communities regarding the marketplaces; partner with or have Navigators and Certified Application Counselors (CACs) on-hand to provide enrollment assistance.

Consider holding the event at a local Jewish Community Center or in a Synagogue.

“Health Care in the Jewish Community” Tabling Events

A rabbi or other religious leader delivers a message around the moral imperative of being insured and the community impact of being uninsured or underinsured. The follow-up “HCJC Tabling Event” is scheduled for a time when a large segment of the congregation would be available.

  • Get Covered America can train your Health Outreach team to staff a table and talk about health coverage and have uninsured complete contact cards for follow up; as an alternative, they can provide volunteers to conduct these activities. Contact cards are used to collect contact information from consumers who would like more information about health coverage. They also have information the consumer can keep to read more about open enrollment.
  • Promote the event via your synagogue bulletins/announcements, email lists and/or social media networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram).

Launch a “Heal the Neighborhood” Outreach

Following the Tabling Event, the Outreach Team can identify a group of volunteers to be trained to participate in the “Heal the Neighborhood” program, which will reach the uninsured by actively conducting consumer outreach at local schools, grocery stores, community centers and events/fairs within the community.

  • Volunteers work with Get Covered America staffers to undergo a consumer outreach training and to set up an outreach plan.
  • Volunteers identify a team leader who can schedule and organize volunteers to conduct outreach and stay in contact with the Get Covered America staffer for materials and data entry assistance.
  • Team leader identifies key K-12 schools, health centers, community centers, service organizations, civic organizations, grocery stores, barber shops and hair salons and other places in the Jewish community that could serve as meeting points for community residents.
  • Volunteers reach out to these businesses, schools and organizations to identify the best way to share outreach literature and identify opportunities to hold community forums and info sessions.

“HCJC Health Coverage Enrollment Summits”

Building on the momentum that you’ve built during the “Health Care in the Jewish Community” event and “Heal the Neighborhood Program,” you can choose to host health coverage summits to engage a broader swath of the community. “HCJC Health Coverage Enrollment Summits” are an effective way to convene a panel of high-level community leaders, providers, and religious leaders while also engaging and enrolling the uninsured. You can coordinate with local Navigators or Certified Application Counselors (CAC) to be on-site to conduct enrollment activities.

  • Reach out to potential partners from various communities to assess interest in convening an event.
  • Develop an agenda and panel of speakers. The panel should consist of a diverse group of Navigators, providers, advocates, religious leaders, and community leaders. (See below for agenda sample).
  • Secure a location. Be sure that there is adequate space to set up tables with laptops so that consumers can be enrolled.
  • If media will be invited, develop a media plan, so that this is broadly publicized and identify media spokespersons.
  • Prepare fliers/e-announcements so that partners can broadly advertise this event among their networks and their communities.
  • Ensure you’ll have enough Navigators and CACs, as well as adequate technology, to ensure a smooth enrollment process.

Sample Health Summit Agenda (90 minutes)

  • Opening Prayer by religious leader
  • Moderator introduces the panel
  • Panel discussion: Moderator asks a set group of questions to the panel for them to answer for the audience and opens up the floor for additional questions. (Your planning group should decide if they want to build in a mechanism for people to submit questions ahead of time or you can have an open Q and A session.)
  • Call to Action: Moderator asks everyone in attendance to take the time to visit the enrollment hall where there will be Navigators available to walk them through the enrollment process. Those that are already insured can visit the Get Covered America table to sign up to volunteer.
  • Enrollment: Navigators begin enrolling people. (This can also be underway during the panel discussion.)

Tips:

  • Plan for a space that will fit the number of people you expect to draw. This event ideally should take place in a large worship space, convention or community center, or exhibition hall. If you anticipate a large crowd, make sure there is a sizable hallway that can handle the flow of traffic as people enroll.
  • The location must have great technology (AV, Wi-Fi, Laptop plugs, etc.) in order to ensure adequate internet access so that the enrollment proceeds smoothly.
  • Work closely with Navigators/CACs to ensure the timing and logistics are compatible with a smooth enrollment process.
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