Archive for March, 2014
Demand to Get Covered is High: Here’s What You Can Do
March 25, 2014
Throughout Texas right now, the health insurance procrastinators are noticing what last-minute holiday shoppers often do: the lines can be long when demand is high before a deadline.
March 31 is the last day to enroll in the Health Insurance Marketplace, and that means Texans who don’t act might have to wait until November to begin benefiting from the financial security and access to health care that’s available for millions. And instead of getting health care tax credits next year, they risk having to pay a fine. Many people are voting with their feet, so we’re seeing:
- hundreds line up at events like this one yesterday in Del Rio to get themselves in enrolled;
- thousands flooding enrollment sites and events in the Rio Grande Valley; and
- a huge uptick of demand for enrollment events in places like Houston, Austin, and the Metroplex.
So what to do? Well, there are several ways consumers can help expedite the enrollment process. One tip is to be sure to have an email address before you arrive. Many people don’t have one, but setting up a free email account can be done from anywhere with internet access, such as at a local library, at sites such as Yahoo and Google.
Other “homework” to try to tackle before you arrive is to set up an account at HealthCare.gov, an essential first step before selecting a health plan. Some of the information asked for during enrollment is proof of citizenship or legal residency for all members of the family enrolling (e.g., social security numbers for adults and children, immigration documents, passports, and driver’s license); proof of address (e.g., residential lease or utility bill); and proof of household income (e.g., W2, paycheck stub, or tax return). It’s a good idea to bring these items with you to the enrollment site as well, so documentation is on hand when you meet with an in-person expert to get your questions answered.
Finally, if you want to get a sense for some of the plans you’ll have to choose from during enrollment, you can use the “window shopping” feature at HealthCare.gov. For example, the tool shows that a 35 year old in Cameron County earning $20,000/year has 46 health plans to choose from, with out-of-pocket costs as low as $28/month. The tool also says if this person is pregnant, she may qualify for Medicaid coverage with no out-of-pocket costs.
Once you’ve tried these things out, you’re ready to enroll and select a plan. This can be done online, by phone, or at an enrollment site or event. Ready, set . . . enroll!
Alternative Spring Break
March 24, 2014
Check out our press release below highlighting the great work of the Alternative Spring Breakers who joined Get Covered America for a day of outreach.
California Students Spend Spring Break in Tucson, Reach Out to Uninsured in South Tucson
“Alternative Spring Breakers” Spread the Word About Affordable Health Care
Tucson, AZ – Who says young people don’t care about getting health coverage? Not only do they care, a group of California students from Sonoma State University is willing to forgo their spring break volunteering for nonprofit groups, including Enroll America, helping to reach out to the uninsured in South Tucson.
Alternative Spring Break is hosted each year by various nonprofit organizations across the country. College students can choose from a variety of different programs and activities, where they can volunteer either in the United States or in other countries around the world.
“We have such a solid group of ‘Young Invincibles’ volunteering in Tucson this year,” said Cheryl O’Donnell, Arizona state director for Enroll America. “Their efforts – talking to others about the importance of health coverage, particularly during a time of year when so many college students are letting loose and are vulnerable to injury – couldn’t be better timed. We welcome their vibrant energy and dedication to helping others.”
The Alternative Spring Breakers spent the afternoon in low-income neighborhoods in South Tucson, connecting consumers to resources to help them find free, professional help to enroll in an affordable health plan.
“There’s a vast population of different communities out there we want to learn from,” said senior Majken Curley, a sociology major from Sacramento. “It’s always eye opening and refreshing what we learn and it’s exciting to work in the community. We have personal conversations with people and help them get in touch with resources they didn’t know anything about.”
11 Days Left to Make a Difference
March 20, 2014
My name is John, and I believe that affordable healthcare is a basic human right. In 2008, I joined Obama for America because of [then Senator] Obama’s desire to create a national healthcare system – it was what drew me to his candidacy. For too long, too many uninsured Americans were faced with the decision to seek unaffordable medical treatment or hoping that the illness or disease would just go away.
I got involved with Get Covered America to continue what I started in 2008. I wanted to help my neighbors to learn what healthcare options exist here in Illinois, and ensure that those who are underinsured or lacking health insurance will not have to make a decision to pay for an expensive medical procedure or not go broke.
With a decline in jobs offering healthcare through work, and an increase in individuals working minimum wage jobs, medical treatments were becoming out of reach for more and more of our neighbors across the country. The promise of a national health care system geared towards preventive medicine would bring down health care costs, and work to help improve the overall health of all Americans.
Get Covered America has given me the opportunity to talk to residents across Chicago and Illinois about the options available for health insurance. While I have only made phone calls, others like me are engaging with residents across the states at tabling events and on the streets. Hundreds of people are volunteering with GCA, and have reached thousands of Illinoisans, educating them on the healthcare options available.
ICYMI: Senators Menendez & Booker, Congressman Sires & U.S. Secretary of Education Duncan Encouraged New Jersey’s Latino Community to Get Covered!
March 18, 2014
Last Saturday, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Senators Robert Menendez and Corey Booker, and Congressman Albio Sires teamed up with the Get Covered America (GCA) Campaign to encourage the Latino community to get enrolled in health coverage. The Union City Housing Authority (UCHA) hosted the event and more than half of the nearly 200 summit attendees took advantage of the on site assistance and enrolled in affordable insurance for themselves and their families.
Senator Menendez put it best saying, “No Americans should have to go to sleep worried that they have no health coverage. Every Latino family should take the opportunity that the law provides.”
With the open enrollment phase ending on March 31st, New Jerseyans are running out of time to get covered. There is still quality health insurance available for anyone who wants to enroll and financial assistance is available for the majority of uninsured New Jerseyans. In fact 85 percent of New Jerseyans who have enrolled in coverage to date have received financial help.
To find out more about options for affordable, quality health care through the federal Marketplace in New Jersey please visit GetCoveredAmerica.org
To read the full Jersey Journal article about the Latino Enrollment Summit in Union City click here!
Get Covered – In Phoenix thanks to Councilwoman Kate Gallego
March 17, 2014
Recently we sat down with Phoenix City Councilwoman Kate Gallego to talk about the Enrollment Assistance being provided at Phoenix’s Burton Barr Library. She spoke about the importance of health insurance, why she wanted to help, and how the uninsured can get the help they need signing up.
Councilwoman Gallego, thanks for sitting down with us
GALLEGO: My pleasure, thanks for getting the word out.
Let’s dive right in. Why do you think it’s important for folks to sign up for health insurance?
GALLEGO: Oh I think there are a lot of reasons. First, you want to have health insurance for those things you can’t expect. A car accident or a work injury that sends you to a hospital can cost extraordinary amounts of money without insurance. I am 32 and consider myself to be healthy, but I spent a few hours in a hospital last year. I am thankful to have insurance, because the bills without insurance would have been pretty close to my annual income for last year. It was a strong reminder that everyone should plan ahead.
I think it’s also important because of the benefits you get from the new plans available on the Marketplace such as preventive care. You and your family can go to a doctor regularly and stay healthy rather than just waiting until you get sick.
Since financial help is available to afford the monthly premiums, it makes sense for everyone to get covered before the March 31st deadline.
You recently helped us and our partners secure space at the Burton Barr Library where application assistors can help people sign up. Thank you!
GALLEGO: The City of Phoenix takes the health of our citizens very seriously, so I was happy to do this. I’m just glad the space was available so we can get folks the help they need. Health insurance has been really important to me in staying healthy myself, so I want to do my part to help others get the financial security that comes with having health insurance.
When can people who need health insurance or just have questions go and get this help?
GALLEGO: Anyone who has questions or even going through the whole process can go to the Burton Barr Library Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 9:00am to 5:00pm.
The library is on Central Ave at the McDowell and Central Lightrail stop.
Anything else you want to say to our readers?
GALLEGO: I think the last thing I would say is don’t assume this isn’t for you or your family. Some people think the cost is too high, but they don’t look into the financial help that’s available. I think the best thing anyone still uninsured can do is go to see an Application Assistor and ask your questions. Don’t wait until the end of the month.
Good advice. Thank you taking the time to be with us.
GALLEGO: Thank you.
Free Professional help is available at the Burton Barr Library:
1221 North Central Ave
9:00am to 5:00pm
Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays
Need something closer? Text “Locator” to 877877 and get nearby assistors sent right to your phone! Standard rates apply.
You can also find help at www.GetCoveredAmerica.org/Locator
Get Covered America and Premier Health
March 14, 2014
Get Covered America and Premier Health 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:
- Five Rivers Health Center – Monday, March 24th – 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
- 725 S Ludlow St., Dayton, OH 45402
- Click Here to RSVP.
- Atrium Medical Center – Tuesday, March 25th – 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
- 1 Medical Center Dr., Middletown, OH 45005
- Click Here to RSVP.
- Upper Valley Medical Center – Wednesday, March 26th – 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
- 3130 N. County Rd. 25A Troy, OH 45373
- Click Here to RSVP.
- Good Samaritan Hospital – Thursday, March 27th – 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
- 2222 Philadelphia Dr., Dayton, OH 45406
- Click Here to RSVP.
- Good Samaritan Hospital North – Thursday, March 27th – 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
- 9000 N Main St., Dayton, OH 45415
- Click Here to RSVP.
- Miami Valley Hospital – Friday, March 28th – 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
- 1 Wyoming St., Dayton, OH 45409
- Click Here to RSVP.
Ohio Enrollment Event Evaluation
March 12, 2014
Thanks for attending an enrollment assistance event. We hope it went well and that you got the help you needed to #GetCovered!
Take Care, People: A Message from Monty the @GetCoveredAZ Spokesdog
My mom Cheryl joined Enroll America as the Arizona State Director back in June, and I had to make the move from Tucson to Phoenix. I was a little apprehensive, but she explained to me why the Get Covered America campaign was so important to her.
Growing up in a military family, my mom didn’t have to worry about health coverage until she was in her 20s. Her employer didn’t offer health coverage, so she had to buy her own. The lowest cost plan she could find was $150 a month. The plan had a high deductible and didn’t include maternity care. If she had been able to purchase a plan on the Health Insurance Marketplace, she would have been eligible for financial assistance that would have lowered her monthly premium and included essential health benefits such as prescriptions, preventative care and maternity care!
Luckily, mom was pretty healthy and didn’t have a lot of medical bills. But some of mom’s friends and family haven’t been so lucky. Some are paying down tens of thousands of dollars of medical debt because they didn’t have health insurance to cover a medical emergency.
Even though I am a dog, I am so excited that me and my friends get to help with the campaign!!
Recently, Get Covered America launched a series of public service announcements (PSAs) with pets urging their owners to “Take Care, People” and enroll in health coverage by the March 31st, 2014 deadline.
Sponsored by the Ad Council, Google and other national partners, the campaign features many of my friends in the animal kingdom — dogs, cats, birds and fish — as messengers to spread the “Take Care, People” and #GetCovered message to pet lovers across Arizona. Aired nationally and across large individual media markets in the country, the PSA is featured here.
My mom says that getting the word out now is critical, as there are fewer than three weeks before open enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace closes. Most humans surveyed are not aware of the March 31st deadline to enroll and more than two-thirds also said they had no idea financial assistance is available to help cover the cost of the monthly premium. However, 74% of humans who had enrolled in the Health Insurance Marketplace by early March were able to qualify for some type of financial help — that leaves more money for dog treats and toys!!
So don’t FURget! Financial Help is Available. Hound your loved ones to sign up for coverage today!!
I didn’t have a chance to be in the PSA, but check me out on twitter @GetCoveredAZ.
ICYMI: Princeton Mayor Liz Lempert Announces Partnership with Get Covered America
PRINCETON, NJ – Princeton Mayor Liz Lempert announced a new partnership with the Get Covered America campaign to increase awareness of the options for affordable, quality health care at an enrollment event Tuesday evening.
Held at the Princeton Public Library, the informational and enrollment event was hosted by The Princeton Health and Human Services, the Princeton University Medical Center, and the Get Covered America campaign. In addition, representatives from the three HMO companies Health Republic, AmeriHeatlh, and Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield took part in the event and offered participants information on their options for health coverage.
“I am glad to have had the opportunity to partner with Get Covered America campaign to provide more information and assistance to Princeton residents in need of health care,” said Mayor Liz Lempert. “It is critical that we educate and assist all members of our community who are without health insurance to ensure that they take advantage of this life-changing opportunity to get covered. I encourage every resident to take a look at their options and the financial help that is available to make this opportunity even more affordable. The deadline to enroll is March 31.”
The announcement came with only 27 days left of enrollment through the Marketplace during 2014. The information
al and enrollment event was the second event hosted by the municipality of Princeton. Mayor Lempert recently teamed with the non-profit for a national teleconference to engage partner organizations and volunteers of the Get Covered America campaign.
The Mayor also issued a Public Service Announcement (PSA) to promote awareness of the new health care options to Princeton residents on Princeton Community TV, Channel 30. The PSA can be accessed at: http://vimeo.com/87303652.
The partnership announcement was covered by both the Princeton Patch (Patch article) and Princeton Packet (Packet article) and well received by attendees. The enrollment deadline for affordable coverage through the marketplace is March 31st, now is the time to sign up!
Why I became a Get Covered America Fellow
March 11, 2014
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