“Health Care in the Pulpit” Action Guide

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“Health Care in the Pulpit” (HCP) is a highly successful national program launched by Get Covered America (GCA) and national faith 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.

Program Overview

Below is an outline of the process of conducting “Health Care in the Pulpit” events followed by an event calendar. Please feel free to design the program that best suits your specific congregational needs.

  • Conduct a “Health Care in the Pulpit” Tabling Event. Faith leader speaks on the impact of being uninsured and the value of enrolling in health coverage, while volunteers table and recruit volunteers.
  • Launch a “Heal-the-Neighborhood” Health Outreach Ministry Team. Activate your current health/outreach ministry team get trained by Get Covered America to conduct outreach within the church and out in the local community. If you do not yet have a health outreach ministry, consider launching one through this program.
  • Host a “HCP Enrollment Summit”. This is could be a Health Coverage Forum, made up of panelists from the faith community, health advocacy, community based organizations that provide an opportunity to educate and engage communities regarding the marketplaces with Navigators and Certified Application Counselors (CACs) on hand to provide enrollment assistance. Or it could be simply partnering with Navigators and CACs to conduct enrollment after church services.

“Health Care in the Pulpit” Tabling Events

A faith leader delivers a message around the moral imperative of being insured and the community impact of be uninsured or underinsured.

  • Get Covered America can either train your Health Outreach Ministry team to staff a table after service to talk about health coverage and have uninsured complete contact cards for follow up or provide volunteers. Contact cards are used to collect information from consumers to identify, if they would like more information about health coverage. It also has information the consumer can keep to read more about open enrollment.
  • Promote the event via your church bulletins/announcements, email lists and/or social media networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram).

Launch a “Heal-the-neighborhood” Outreach Ministry

Following the Health Care in the Pulpit Event, the ministry can identify a group of volunteers (such as the Health or Outreach Ministry) to be trained to participate in the “Heal-the-Neighborhood” program where to actively do consumer outreach at local schools, grocery stores, community centers and events/fairs within the community to reach the uninsured.

  • Volunteers will 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 GCA staffer for materials and data entry assistance.
  • Team leader would identify key k-12 schools, health centers, community centers, service organizations, civic organizations, grocery stores, barber shops and hair salons and other places surrounding the church that may serve as meeting points for community residents.
  • Volunteers should 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.

“HCP Health Coverage Enrollment Summits”

Building on the momentum that you’ve built during the “Health Care in the Pulpit” event and “Heal the Neighborhood Program”, you can choose to host health coverage summits to engage a broader swath of the community. Summits are an effective way to convene a panel of high-level community leaders, providers, faith 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 – should be a diverse group of navigators, providers, advocates, faith leaders, and community leaders. (See below for agenda sample).
  • Secure a location. Be sure that there is adequate space to set up massive 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 network and the communities.
  • Ensure you’ll have enough Navigators and CACs, adequate technology to ensure smooth enrollment.

Sample Health Summit Agenda (90 minutes)

  • Opening Prayer by faith leader
  • Moderator introduces the panel
  • Panel discussion: Moderator asks a set group of questions to the panel for them to answer for the audience, open 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:

  • This event ideally should take place in a very large worship center, convention center or exhibition hall that can hold 200 – 500 people comfortably and has a sizable hallway that can handle the flow of traffic as people enroll.
  • Location must have great technology (AV, Wi FI, Laptop plugs, etc.) in order to ensure adequate access to the internet to conduct the enrollment piece successfully.
  • Work closely with Navigators/CACs to ensure the timing and logistics are compatible with a smooth enrollment process.
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