Archive for February, 2014

Get Covered America and Mercy Health

February 28, 2014

mercy_logoGet Covered America and Mercy Healthy are hosting a series of free health insurance enrollment events to help you get connected to Ohio’s new Health Insurance Marketplace or Ohio Medicaid.

Trained enrollment assisters will be on hand to help you understand your new health insurance options, help you start the enrollment process, and help you figure out which health insurance option fits your budget. This event is free and open to the public.

Space is limited so RSVP today! Click the event below to secure your spot:

  • Mercy Clermont – Saturday, March 8th – 9:00 am – 12:00 pm


  • Mercy West – Sunday, March 9th – 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm


  • Jewish Hospital – Monday, March 10th – 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm


  • Mercy Fairfield – Tuesday, March 11th – 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm


  • Springfield Regional Medical Center – Wednesday, March 12th – 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm


  • Mercy Anderson – Thursday, March 13th – 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm


  • Springfield Regional Medical Center – Saturday, March 15th – 9:00 am – 12:00 pm


  • Memorial Hospital – Saturday, March 15th – 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Columbus Upcoming Events

February 25, 2014

Can you help at one of our upcoming events? We’ll be working to identify uninsured folks at out tabling events, follow up with them with calls, call to recruit volunteers, and keep the office running smoothly.


Outreach tabling:

Grandview Giant Eagle  |  Clintonville Giant Eagle  |  Sawmill Giant Eagle  |  Lincoln Village Giant Eagle  |  Grove City Kmart


Follow up calls:

Wednesday, Feb 26, 6pm  |  Saturday, March 1, 1 to 5pm  |  Monday, March 3, 6pm


Volunteer recrutiment calls:

Monday, March 3 at 6pm at Bethel Panera (email to RSVP)

Office Management:

Daytime on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays (Click here for full schedule)


Finding fulfillment as a Fellow: Paul’s story

If you are looking for a way to truly change your life and the lives of the people in your community, follow my lead and get in0b7cfe337e56abe1abe55ec5fee6c513volved with Get Covered America.  I became a Get Covered America fellow this January; and every day since, I am more and more convinced that I made one of the best decisions of my life. Nothing is more rewarding than giving peace of mind to someone who does not know where to go or how to get the help they need, and being a fellow has given me that opportunity.

Take the case of Norman from West Philadelphia.  Norman was afraid that due to his low income, he would not be able to afford health insurance.  He feared that without the security that health insurance provides, one unfortunate accident or sudden illness could turn his life on its head.  I talked to Norman at an event that we held outside of his local grocery store and let him know that the Affordable Care Act is here to help people just like him.  I also calmed his fear about not being able to afford health insurance by letting him know that financial assistance is available to those who need it most.  We talked about what steps he could take to get covered and find a plan that is right for him.  Before heading into the store, Norman turned to me and said “This is a great thing you’re doing.  People need this and it’s so great that you guys are out here giving your time to help us. God’s gonna bless you one day.”

This is what  being a Get Covered America fellow means to me.  There are millions of Normans all across the country who are waiting for someone to help them get the help they have been seeking for so long.  With a little more than a month left before the end of open enrollment, it’s time to give it all that we’ve got.

I wish I could get everyone covered all by myself, but the truth is I’m going to need your help.  So what are you waiting for?  Find an event near you, and let’s get America covered.

Team TN Welcomes New Volunteers!

Get Covered America’s “Each One Reach One” volunteer outreach summit welcomed approximately 80 new volunteers in Memphis and Nashville on Feb. 22.

GCA staff, fellows, and partners gathered in a day-long event to learn from each other, develop outreach plans leading up to the March 31 enrollment deadline, and hear the latest Affordable Care Act enrollment news from guest speakers like Keylan Mitchell, Regional Outreach Specialist with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Deric Gilliard, Public and Intergovernmental Affairs Specialist with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Nashville council member Sandra Moore; Kenneth Robinson, Public Health Policy Adviser to the Office of the Mayor in Shelby County; and Willie “Hank” Henry, Deputy District Director in the office of U.S. Congressional Representative Steve Cohen.

Fired up and ready to go in Nashville!

Fired up and ready to go in Nashville!

The events provided an opportunity for participants to discuss outreach tactics like tabling, talking to the media, and developing creative partnerships as we gear up for a busy month  leading up to the March 31 ACA enrollment deadline. The ideas we developed together shaped plans to connect with our communities in a massive push to maximize the number of uninsured people who access health coverage this year.

Memphis organizer Nikeisha Royston even made the news with coverage of the Memphis event!

Thanks to everyone who joined us on Saturday for your enthusiasm and great ideas! We can’t wait to work together with you in the coming weeks.

Partcipant Jennifer Butler shares another great idea for reaching out to uninsured Tennesseans before the March 31 enrollment deadline.

Participant Jennifer Butler shares another great idea for reaching out to uninsured Tennesseans before the March 31 enrollment deadline.

A packed house gathered in Nashville Feb. 22 for GCA TN's volunteer outreach summit

A packed house gathered in Nashville Feb. 22 for GCA TN’s volunteer outreach summit

Keylan Mitchell, Regional Outreach Specialist with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, sports his GCA t-shirt at one of Tennessee's Feb. 22 "Each One Reach One" events.
Keylan Mitchell, Regional Outreach Specialist with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, sports his GCA t-shirt at one of Tennessee’s Feb. 22 “Each One Reach One” events.


Why the ACA Matters to Me

February 24, 2014

This is a guest blog from Amanda Belles, Deputy Director of Private Partnerships for Enroll America. Like many of us, Amanda has personal reasons that keep her motivated day after day. This is her story.

My story is not unique from the millions of other Americans that have a pre-existing condition. Because of a congenital non-progressive muscle myopathy I have had my entire life, like so many others, it has required me to receive more health care than the average person.

However, I knew at a young age that I was one of the lucky ones because my parents had health insurance. When I needed spinal fusion surgery for scoliosis, biopsies, tests, etc., thankfully through my parents’ employers, we had health insurance that covered it. Since then through my own employment, I have been fortunate enough to have always had health insurance. But what if that hadn’t been the case? What would I have done?

Until the Affordable Care Act (ACA) became law, there were 57.2 million Americans under the age of 65 with a pre-existing condition that could have potentially been denied or charged more for health insurance.

Having access to affordable, quality health insurance should not be about luck. Thanks to the ACA, it no longer is. Now, you can no longer be denied health insurance because of a pre-existing condition, and you now have access to the same health plans in the Marketplace that all Americans do, regardless of your circumstances.

Because of the ACA, “luck” has become a “reality” for all Americans.

February is National Wise Health Care Consumer Month, which is all about encouraging people to know their health care options and become an informed consumer. There are just 35 days left to become an informed consumer and sign up for a quality, affordable health plan before the March 31st deadline.

Unfortunately, many people don’t know about their new options or the deadline (which will be here sooner than you know it). Will you help us get the word out? Please click here and share some of these fun graphics with your networks to help us raise awareness!

What Do Bar Crawls and Health Insurance Have In Common?

February 19, 2014

You may have heard that young people are getting covered in droves.

In droves, you guys.

In fact, enrollment among young adults grew by 65% in January. To keep the momentum going, we worked with Young Invincibles and over 70 partner organizations to hold National Youth Enrollment Day the weekend of February 15th.

There were more than 100 events across the country — including bar crawls, an enrollment event with Head Start programs in San Antonio targeting young parents, community college enrollment events, and an enrollment event at Roosevelt High School in Chicago that more than 40 students helped organize.

Get Covered America volunteers alone had nearly 2,500 conversations with consumers about their new, affordable health insurance options. And that was just one weekend!

There are 40 days left of open enrollment. Imagine what we could accomplish if we all came together to get the word out.

New Interactive Map Helps Uninsured New Jerseyans Find In-Person Assistance

February 18, 2014


Today Enroll America, the nation’s leading health care enrollment coalition, released detailed maps of 22 major metropolitan areas, including North Jersey, that show where uninsured populations are concentrated, which communities have sufficient in-person enrollment assistance available to meet demand, and where additional resources may be necessary. As the March 31 deadline for enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace approaches, these maps will inform outreach strategies and allow Get Covered America and their partners in New Jersey to identify which communities need more enrollment resources over the final six weeks of open enrollment.

“We are really excited to share these maps with our partners across North Jersey to ensure that residents in-need are able to find in-person help right in their own communities,” said Justine Ceserano, Get Covered America New Jersey State Director. “From our work at a grassroots level here in New Jersey, we know that having access to trained in-person assistance in your neighborhood is critical for so many residents making the decision to enroll in health care. These new maps will go a long way in assisting our organizers, partners, and volunteers help direct New Jerseyans to free in-person help in communities across North Jersey.”

The maps here use Enroll America’s data and modeling to show where uninsured consumers live in 22 metropolitan areas with a high concentration of uninsured. The maps also use information from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) – verified and expanded by Enroll America staff and volunteers on the ground – to pinpoint the locations where in-person help is available to consumers planning to enroll. Those in-person assisters include Navigators that received grants from HHS, Community Health Centers, Certified Application Counselors, as well as private brokers and agents who are authorized to enroll consumers in plans. All of the assisters plotted on the map also exist within Enroll America’s Local Help Lookup tool.

The new map of North Jersey will allow enrollment organizations in New Jersey to quickly and easily target resources like mobile assisters and enrollment fairs to the places that need them most over the final six weeks of open enrollment. The maps show that different communities face very different challenges in reaching uninsured consumers, and more work remains to be done in some areas.

Enroll America is making the maps available in 22 key cities where the Get Covered America consumer engagement campaign is working on the ground with local partners and thousands of volunteers to connect the uninsured with the information they need to get covered before March 31. The mapped communities include: Phoenix, AZ; Tucson, AZ; Miami, FL; Tampa, FL; Orlando, FL; Atlanta, GA; Chicago, IL; Detroit, MI; Northern NJ; Charlotte, NC; Raleigh, NC; Cincinnati, OH; Cleveland, OH; Columbus, OH; Philadelphia, PA; Pittsburg, PA; Memphis, TN; Nashville, TN; Austin, TX; San Antonio, TX; Houston, TX; and Fort Worth, TX.

Event Round-Up: South Phoenix Enrollment Fair

On the weekend of February 15th, we partnered with our colleagues from Planned Parenthood and Cover Arizona to host an Enrollment Fair targeted to the Latino community in Phoenix to help them #GetCovered. The event was a success, as over 80 people came through the doors to look at their options for health coverage, whether it was through the Health Insurance Marketplace or Arizona’s Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS, or Medicaid).

You can also get an estimate of the financial help you may qualify for here.

Everyone who attended had unique circumstances: whether they were cancer survivors, needed ongoing care or just wanted to be prepared for any health crisis, they knew getting coverage was a priority.

Florenz Got Covered

Florenz #GotCovered

Florenz was without coverage for three months, following a job change. After completing the online application through, he was able to find a plan for $88.45 a month. Florenz says he wanted coverage because he has health issues that require ongoing treatment and paying out of pocket is not an option.


Sharon Got Covered

Sharon #GotCovered

Sharon’s health plan will expire soon, so she came to the Enrollment Fair event to shop for a new policy. Having raised five children of her own, she has never been without coverage. Sharon says it’s important to #GetCovered because so many unpredictable things – such as a broken arm or leg – can happen that could financially overextend so many families.

Concepcion Got Covered

Concepcion #GotCovered

It was Concepcion’s first time getting health insurance. She was happy to get a plan that will cover doctor visits. While she has been healthy, she wants her family to be covered in the event they need medical care in the future.




It was a pleasure to assist the community in this effort and an honor to help people #GetCovered.


To find free, professional help, text “LOCATOR” to 877877 or call 2-1-1 for a list of nearby assistance.

Resumen del Evento: Feria de Inscripcion en Phoenix del Sur

El fin de semana del 15 de febrero, nos asociamos con nuestros colegas de Planned Parenthood y de Cover Arizona para organizar una feria de inscripción dirigida a la comunidad latina en Phoenix para ayudarlos conseguir seguros medicos. El evento tuvo éxito, ya que cerca de 80 personas vinieron a través de las puertas para ver sus opciones de cobertura de salud, ya sea a través del mercado de Seguros de Salud o Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS o Medicaid).

Todos los que asistieron tenía circunstancias únicas: si eran los sobrevivientes de cáncer, cuidado continuo necesario o sólo quería estar preparado para cualquier crisis de salud, sabían obtener cobertura de una prioridad.

Florenz Got Covered

Florenz #GotCovered

Florenz no tuvo cobertura durante tres meses, a raíz de un cambio de trabajo. Después de completar la solicitud a través, fue capaz de encontrar un plan de $88.45 al mes. Florenz dice que quería la cobertura porque tiene problemas de salud que requieren tratamiento continuo, y pagar de su bolsillo no es una opción.


Sharon Got Covered

Sharon #GotCovered

El plan de salud de Sharon expirará pronto, así que ella llegó al Feria de Inscripción para hacer compras para una nueva póliza. Después de haber criado a cinco hijos propios, ella nunca ha estado sin cobertura. Sharon dice que seguros médicos son importante porque muchas cosas imprevisibles – como un brazo o una pierna rota – puede suceder que podría extenderse demasiado financieramente tantas familias.

Concepcion Got Covered

Concepcion #GotCovered

Era la primera vez de Concepción obtener seguro de salud. Ella estaba feliz de conseguir un plan que cubra las visitas al médico. Mientras que ella ha estado sana, ella quiere que su familia sea cubierta en caso que necesite asistencia médica en el futuro.

Ha sido un placer asistir a la comunidad en este esfuerzo y un honor para ayudar a la gente conseguir seguros médicos.

Para encontrar ayuda profesional gratuita, mande la palabra ‘LOCATOR’ en un mensaje de texto a 877877, o llame al 2-1-1 para obtener una lista de asistencia a la comunidad cercana.

Financial Assistance in the Marketplace

February 14, 2014

Financial Assistance in the Marketplace

One of the most common questions we hear from uninsured people across New Jersey is, “Just how much is health insurance going to cost me?” through the Affordable Care Act (ACA). No one wants to live without the security of health care but many New Jerseyans are afraid of what the out-of-pocket costs will be for health care. Yet the option to go without insurance is unthinkable, imagine having to face being buried in debt due to an accident that leaves you with a broken arm, for someone uninsured this could mean medical bills of more than $7,500.

What New Jersey residents need to know is that financial help is here! Nearly 79 percent of New Jersey residents who have already enrolled in health care through the Marketplace have received financial assistance. The only way to find out how much help you are eligible for is by taking the next step and submitting an application. You can apply online at, by phone at 1-800-318-2596 where help is available in 150 languages, or with in-person help in your local community from a trained professional, to find help in your community use our assistor locator.

 Here are three important facts that every New Jerseyan should know:

1) New Jersey expanded Medicaid, this means that if you make up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, up to $15,856 annually, you may be eligible for coverage under Medicaid expansion.

2) You also may be eligible for financial assistance if you make up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level a year, this translates to $44,680 for a single adult and $92,200 for a family of four. If you are eligible for financial help you can even select how you receive it – either as monthly help towards your premium or a tax credit at the end of the year to help make your coverage more affordable. In fact, six out of every 10 people who purchase insurance through the marketplace can find coverage for $100 a month or less. You can estimate the financial assistance you’ll receive with our calculator tool.

3) You can get in-person help from a trained professional right in your community who will help you complete your application, review your options, and assist you in finding out if your are eligible for financial help towards the cost of your new quality coverage. These folks are trained to assist you in navigating the Marketplace to find a health plan that meets your medical needs and your pocketbook and best of all this professional assistance is completely free!

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A recent poll conducted by PerryUndem Research and Communication, determined that the number one reason that uninsured people had not enrolled in health coverage yet was concerns over the price of insurance. You can find the full poll here and will see that 69% of people did not realize that tax subsidies or financial help was available. If you don’t have health insurance or if you know someone who doesn’t have health insurance, share this information with them and let them know there is financial help available too them.

Please keep in mind that you still have time to select a health insurance plan that fits your needs although open enrollment for 2014 ends on March 31st, 2014.

For information about informational and enrollment events in your community visit

Join the movement to get Illinoisans covered

February 13, 2014

With 1.4 million uninsured Illinoisans, we have a lot of work to do in the next 46 days. We need to do everything we can to get the facts out about the 12105876284_dfb0263929_znew health care options and that financial help is here to everyone in our community.

On Saturday, February 22 volunteers from across the state will be taking part in an exciting Statewide Training Weekend of Action to make sure we do everything we can to get Illinoisans covered. It will be a great opportunity to meet other engaged volunteers, and share best practices of how we can get the information to those that need it the most.

Join us at one of our three trainings, and RSVP for the event nearest to you. Most importantly, share this information with your family and friends. We’ve got a big job ahead of us, and we can’t do it alone. 

Chicago Volunteer Training RSVP

Embassy Suites
600 N. State Street
Chicago, IL 60654
10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.


Springfield Volunteer Training RSVP

Lincoln Public Library—Carnegie North
326 N. 7th Street
Springfield, IL 62701
12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.


Rockford Volunteer Training RSVP

North Suburban District Library
6248 North Second Street
Loves Park, IL 61111
10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.


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