Archive for January, 2015

Ohio LGBT Leaders Urge Community to #GetCovered Before Affordable Care Act Enrollment Deadline

January 28, 2015

COLUMBUS, OH – Today, Get Covered America held a conference call with LGBT leaders from across the state to discuss what the upcoming enrollment deadline means for Ohio’s LGBT community. February 15 is the final deadline to get coverage during the second enrollment period, and those who do not enroll may have to wait for the next enrollment period to get coverage.

Get Covered America was joined on the call by LGBT leaders Cincinnati City Councilman Chris Seelbach, Columbus Public Health LGBTQ Health Advocate Dwayne Steward, and Stonewall Columbus Program Director and Certified Application Counselor Lori Gum to outline the benefits and protections for the LGBT community under the Affordable Care Act.

“According to a Gallup poll, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender adults are more likely to be uninsured than the population as a whole,” said Get Covered America Ohio State Director Trey Daly. “That’s why we have been focusing much of our outreach efforts to LGBT Ohioans this enrollment period and are happy to be bringing together LGBT leaders from across the state to help more Ohioans get covered ahead of the final February 15 deadline.”

Upcoming events include an ACA Education and Enrollment Event for the LGBT community at Columbus Public Health on January 29 from 5:30pm-8:00pm (240 Parsons Ave, Columbus, Ohio 43215) and working with the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland to provide free, unbiased enrollment assistance at their office (6600 Detroit Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44102).

“The Affordable Care Act has helped millions of Americans have better access to quality, affordable health coverage, but under the law there are specific new benefits and protections for the LGBT community,” said Councilman Seelbach. “These include not being denied coverage because of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression; not being denied coverage for a pre-existing condition; and legally married couples being able to receive financial assistance as a married couple on the Health Insurance Marketplace even if they live in a state that doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage.”

On the call, Columbus Public Health’s Steward and Stonewall Columbus’ Gum announced that they would be partnering with Get Covered America to host the LGBT Education and Enrollment Event January 29.

“The Affordable Care Act gives LGBT Ohioans the opportunity to have better access to affordable care and live healthier lives,” said Steward. “Having insurance can help protect you from the high cost of health care and can help you access more preventative care like screenings and wellness check ups, to help identify problems early when they may be easier to treat.”

Studies by Get Covered America show that in-person enrollment assistance is critical to helping uninsured Americans enroll in quality, affordable health insurance. In fact, an applicant was more than twice as likely to successfully enroll with the help of an enrollment expert as compared to someone who tried to enrollment by themselves. In response, Get Covered America has worked with partners across Ohio to expand access to these resources, including among the LGBT community.

“It’s great news that thousands of Ohioans have already secured quality, affordable health coverage, but we know there is still a lot of work to do,” added Gum. “That’s why we’re encouraging all Ohioans to get covered ahead of the final February 15 Marketplace deadline.”

Free, unbiased enrollment assistance is available in communities throughout Ohio, and you can find where you can get local help and schedule an appointment by visiting the Get Covered Connector at https://connector.getcoveredamerica.org/widget/ or calling 1-800-648-1176.

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New Data Finds More Than 169,000 Arizonans #GotCovered in First Weeks of Open Enrollment

January 22, 2015

PHOENIX, AZ – Using new detailed enrollment data released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Wednesday, an Enroll America analysis found a total of 133,375 residents of Maricopa and Pima counties signed up for health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace as of January 16, with the remaining 35,803 consumers enrolling from other counties throughout Greater Arizona (a total of 169,178 thus far this cycle). This localized data will allow Get Covered America and its coalition of partners to target outreach on a community level as we near the end of open enrollment next month.

“As we get weekly enrollment numbers, we are thrilled by the upward trend in consumers enrolling in coverage in the Health Insurance Marketplace,” said Cheryl O’Donnell, Arizona state director for the Get Covered America campaign. “Since open enrollment began on November 15, more than 169,000 Arizonans have selected a plan, many of whom were buying health insurance for the first time and others who were renewing their coverage from last spring.”

There will be enrollment events up until the final deadline, with the next in Phoenix on Saturday, January 24 from 8:00 am – 6:30 pm at Atkinson Middle School, 4315 N. Maryvale Parkway (off 51st Avenue and Indian School Road). Appointments for this event can be booked online at www.coveraz.org/January-24 or by calling 211 to schedule a time.

“With less than a month to go before open enrollment ends, we anticipate we will see a surge into the final weekend and recommend that consumers begin the process of signing up for coverage right now. We encourage Arizonans to ask questions, review all their options and seek free, professional, in-person help to enroll in coverage that best meets their needs and individual/family situation. Most will likely qualify for financial assistance (77%), bringing the cost of their premiums down to an affordable level,” said O’Donnell.

Open enrollment continues through February 15. Arizonans can make an appointment online for free, local help across the Valley, Tucson, Flagstaff, Yuma and other locations at their convenience by logging on to www.coveraz.org/connector.




Michigan Youth Leaders Join Get Covered America Ahead of National Youth Enrollment Week

Super Bowl Champion Cato June, Former Detroit Lion Todd “TJ” Duckett, and State Senator Knezek to Join Get Covered America’s Youth Outreach Advisory Council to Encourage Affordable Care Act Enrollment

Statewide advisory council adds sports figures Cato June and Todd “TJ” Duckett and State Senator David Knezek to help Get Covered America reach young adults in final month of open enrollment

LANSING, MI – On Wednesday, January 21, the Get Covered America (GCA) campaign announced additions to its Michigan Youth Outreach Advisory Council that include former Michigan State University football star and former Detroit Lion, Todd “TJ” Duckett, former University of Michigan football star and Super Bowl Champion with the Indianapolis Colts, Cato June, and State Senator David Knezek.  The announcement comes one week ahead of National Youth Enrollment Week, a national week of action to educate young adults about their new coverage opportunities and mobilize them to enroll before the February 15 deadline.

The Get Covered America-Michigan Youth Outreach Advisory Council features youth leaders from across the state coming together to help Michigan’s uninsured young people find affordable coverage. The Council is comprised of elected officials, consumers, and local leaders that serve as trusted voices among 18- to 34-year-olds across the Great Lakes State and focuses on honing youth outreach efforts to ensure that every uninsured young Michigander can access quality, affordable care.

“We’re thrilled to announce that we are adding these local leaders who we believe will help us reach young adults,” said Erin Knott, State Director of Get Covered America.“Michigan’s young people have an historic opportunity to gain quality health coverage that doesn’t break the bank. With less than one month remaining in open enrollment, we’ll work with the Youth Outreach Advisory Council to maximize our reach to young adults and get them the information they need to get covered and stay covered.”

In sitting on the Youth Outreach Advisory Council, DuckettJune and Knezek will join existing members State Representative Adam Zemke, State Representative Phil Phelps, former Michigan State women’s basketball star and owner of Lady Aitch Designs Lauren Aitch, State Public Affairs Chair of the Michigan State Council of Junior Leagues and multiple sclerosis patient Emily Todebush, and ACCESS Marketplace Navigator Whitney Litzner.

DuckettJune and Knezek bring experience working with youth populations, as well as insight on how to most effectively reach and communicate to young adults. In 2011, Duckett launched his nonprofit, New World Flood, which aims to cultivate a culture of volunteerism and develop a sense of responsibility and well-being in local communities and underprivileged areas across the country.  June currently leads the football team of his high school alma mater, Anacostia High School, as head coach, and also serves as the school’s athletic director. After completing two tours of duty in Iraq with the U.S. Marine Corps and serving as University of Michigan-Dearborn student body president, Knezek is currently the youngest member of the Michigan Senate.

“The Affordable Care Act is providing an historic opportunity for young people to get the financial and health security they need and want, so the time is now for them to get covered,” said Todd “TJ” Duckett.  “In the past, young people purchasing their own coverage faced barriers like cost and denial based on pre-existing conditions.  But many young adults remain unaware of the new consumer protections and the financial assistance that is available through the Marketplace. We need to make sure they know what’s available to them in this final month of open enrollment.”

“As someone who received tremendous support from Michiganders during my college football career, I want to give back by getting the word out about the new Affordable Care Act coverage opportunities to an important audience,” said Cato June.  “I’m eager to help bolster Get Covered America’s reach to young adults, most of whom can get quality coverage for less than the cost of their cell phone bill because of the Affordable Care Act.”

Affordability is one of the top concerns for most young people, which is why GCA is working to find the best ways to let young people know about the financial help that nearly nine in 10 (89%) Michigan consumers receive to lower their monthly premiums. Because young adults tend to make less money, the financial assistance that is available through the Marketplace benefits them greatly.  In fact, nearly half of uninsured single young adults could get covered for less than $50 a month.

Because young adults tend to be among the most uninsured populations, they are more likely to be new to health coverage. Many will be learning the basics of health care coverage from understanding premiums and deductibles to learning about the essential benefits that will be covered the first time.  Get Covered America and members of its advisory council will continue working to identify the best ways to connect young adults to a free enrollment assister who can help them understand their options. Young adults wishing to meet with a free, local expert to help them understand the coverage options are encouraged to use the Get Covered Connector at https://www.getcoveredamerica.org/connector/.

The announcement comes ahead National Youth Enrollment Week during which Get Covered America will host or participate in ten youth-focused events across Michigan, from a job fair in collaboration with JobFairGiant.com to an enrollment event with MusicCares that is geared toward young musicians and artists. The aim of each event, taking into consideration recommendations made by the advisory council, is to engage young adults about the financial assistance that is available to reduce the cost of coverage and the free in-person enrollment assisters that are certified to walk consumers through the enrollment process.

“With the February 15 deadline quickly approaching, I’m proud to be added to the list of elected officials supporting Get Covered America in their efforts to sign young Americans up for health care coverage,” said State Senator David Knezek. “Organizations such as these are essential now because there is so much confusion and misinformation surrounding the Affordable Care Act. I am hopeful that our efforts can maximize the number of young individuals taking advantage of the law to find the health care coverage they need.”

Available for interviews:
State Senator David Knezek
Cato June, Super Bowl Champion and former University of Michigan football standout
Todd “TJ” Duckett, former Detroit Lion and Michigan State University football standout
Erin Knott, Michigan State Director for Get Covered America

Please direct interview requests to sdhanak@enrollamerica.org




Time is Running Low for Consumers to Enroll in Coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace

January 16, 2015

30 Days remain to #GetCovered through the ACA Marketplace

MIAMI, FL – The clock is ticking and the hard and fast deadline to #GetCovered with medical coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace is quickly approaching. Under the Affordable Care Act, consumers have until February 15 of this year to enroll in a health plan to cover themselves through 2015, or face fines and have to wait until next enrollment period to buy a plan.

With only 30 days to go until the end of open enrollment, Floridians should act now to ensure they have time to shop, consider their best options and enroll in a plan that will best fit their personal and/or family’s medical needs.

“During the first enrollment period we saw a significant increase of Floridians interested in learning about their health insurance options and enrolling in coverage around the final deadline, and we anticipate the same trend as we approach the final days to enroll,” said Nicholas Duran, State Director of Get Covered America Florida. “Our grassroots team will continue to encourage folks across the state to start the process now to make sure there’s plenty of time to find a plan that will work for their needs and their budget.”

Because shopping for health coverage can be intimidating for first time buyers or for anyone who is unfamiliar with insurance terms, Get Covered America encourages consumers to seek guidance from certified assisters who provide free, professional help and can answer questions about coverage and benefits. Uninsured consumers who get free, in-person enrollment assistance with their health insurance applications are roughly twice as likely to enroll in a health plan as those who attempted to enroll online without any help. Scheduling an appointment is as easy as booking a time for an oil change: simply use the Get Covered Connector online tool.

Data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released this week found nearly 1.2 million Floridians enrolled or re-enrolled in a plan through the Marketplace from November 15 to January 9.

Financial assistance is available to help pay the cost of premiums. In fact, 94% of the Floridians who signed up on the Marketplace during the first month of the second enrollment period qualified for financial help.




Time is Running Low for Consumers to Enroll in Coverage in the Health Insurance Marketplace

COLUMBUS, OH – The clock is ticking and the hard and fast deadline to #GetCovered with medical coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace is quickly approaching. Under the Affordable Care Act, consumers have until February 15 of this year to enroll in a health plan to cover themselves through 2015, or face fines and have to wait until next enrollment period to buy a plan.

With only 30 days to go until the end of open enrollment, Ohioans should act now to ensure they have time to shop, consider their best options and enroll in a plan that will best fit their personal and/or family’s medical needs.

“Last year we saw a surge of Ohioans interested in learning about their health insurance options and enrolling in coverage around the final deadline, and we expect to see the same this year as we approach February 15,” said Get Covered America Ohio State Director Trey Daly. “That’s why we are encouraging people to start the process now to make sure there’s plenty of time to find a plan that will work for their needs and their budget.”

Because shopping for health coverage can be daunting for first time buyers or for anyone who is unfamiliar with insurance terms, Get Covered America encourages consumers to seek guidance from certified assisters who provide free, professional help and can answer questions about coverage and benefits. Scheduling an appointment is as easy as booking a time for an oil change: simply use the Get Covered Connectoronline tool or call 1-800-648-1176.

Data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released this week found more than 186,000 Ohioans enrolled or re-enrolled in a plan through the Marketplace from November 15 to January 9.

Most Ohioans qualify for financial assistance to help pay the cost of their premiums. In fact, 84% of the Ohioans who signed up on the Marketplace last open enrollment period qualified for financial help.




“Souls to Enroll” Event at Mt. Zion Congregational Church to Help Clevelanders #GetCovered over MLK Weekend

CLEVELAND, OH – This Saturday, Get Covered America and Cognosante will be partnering with Mt. Zion Congregational Church UCC for a “Souls to Enroll” event from 11 am – 4 pm. Congregants and members of the community will learn about their health care options under the Affordable Care Act and will have the opportunity to meet with a trained professional and receive free one-on-one enrollment assistance to help them understand their options and enroll in a plan that fits their needs and budget.

Mt. Zion is the 3rd oldest African American church in Cleveland that held its first service in 1864. The church played a significant role in helping to settle freed slaves in the Cleveland community following the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. It also helped to organize the Cleveland chapter of the NAACP and The Cleveland Home for Aged Colored People now known as Eliza Bryant Village.​

The second enrollment period through the Health Insurance Marketplace runs through February 15, 2015. To find where you can get local enrollment assistance and schedule an appointment you can visit the Get Covered Connector: https://connector.getcoveredamerica.org/widget/ or call the Get Covered America Cleveland Office, 216-314-2392.




Changing The Way Men Think About Health

January 15, 2015

This is a guest blog from the Men’s Health Network.

From a very young age boys are taught how to be “men.” They are taught that in order to be a “man” you need to “suck it up” and fend for yourself. Unfortunately, that mentality is often carried over to how men think about health and health care. This mindset has been one of the major reasons why men are dying an average of 5 years before their female counterparts.

On the bright side there is a clear path to changing these numbers. The first thing that men should do is sign up for health insurance, if they haven’t already. Not only does it provide the benefit of having affordable health coverage, but it is also the first step in changing the way men look at health. By signing up for an insurance plan men are taking a proactive, instead of a reactive, attitude toward their health. Not to mention the other many benefits of having reliable and affordable access to health coverage.

The opportunity to enroll ends February 15th, so individuals and families can sign up for 2015 health coverage through the Marketplace until then. There are also a number of tools men can use to research different coverage options and cost so individuals can make the appropriate choice for themselves.

Once enrolled it is vital that men make a list of symptoms or anything they need to talk to their healthcare provider (HCP) about. Again, this is a way that men can start being proactive about their health. If something hurts or just “doesn’t feel quite right” then you should be talking to your HCP about it. Before your visit, you can read about what you should expect here. For more information about men’s health you can also visit us at www.menshealthnework.org.




Recent Court Ruling Means Equal Access to Health Care for Florida’s LGBT Families

January 14, 2015

Newly-married LGBT Floridians now qualify for coverage, financial help under their spouse’s Marketplace plan

MIAMI – Existing provisions under the Affordable Care Act actively protect the LGBT community from discrimination and higher premiums based on sexual orientation or gender identity when obtaining health coverage. Now, with same-sex marriage legalized in the state of Florida, thousands of newly-married LGBT Floridians could get covered under the same Marketplace plan as their spouse or jointly enroll in a new family plan.

This new ruling will help reduce health coverage disparities among the LGBT community in Florida who are more likely to be uninsured and often face unique challenges in accessing health care. Trained in-person assisters are available locally throughout Florida to answer questions and walk newly-married couples and consumers through the enrollment process. Consumers can visit connector.getcoveredamerica.org to schedule an appointment with an in-person assister in their community. All Floridians have until Feb. 15 to enroll in a coverage plan for themselves and their families.

Here’s the top five things newly-married LGBT couples in Florida need to know:

  1. Insurance companies that offer health coverage to opposite-sex spouses must offer the same coverage to same-sex spouses. Florida has four new Marketplace insurers this year, offering families more options than ever to find a plan that fits your needs and budget.
  2. You can’t be charged a higher premium just because you’re lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. The average monthly premium in Florida in 2014 for a consumer receiving financial help was only $68.
  3. Plans purchased through the Marketplace cannot discriminate against you or your spouse based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
  4. Legally married same-sex couples are treated equally when applying for tax credits or financial assistance when purchasing coverage in the Marketplace. Ninety-four percent of Floridians who applied for coverage between Nov. 15, 2014 and Dec. 15, 2014 qualified for financial help to lower the cost of premiums.
  5. You can’t be denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions like HIV/AIDS, heart disease or any other condition.

 

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Need health coverage ASAP? Enroll by January 15 to have insurance by February 1

January 13, 2015

icon-174x174-Feb15The Health Insurance Marketplace remains open for another month, however, those who need health coverage as soon as possible should enroll and pay for a plan by Wednesday, January 15 to ensure they have a plan in place by February 1.

The final deadline to apply for coverage in the Marketplace is February 15. Medicaid, through the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS), for income eligible individuals and families, is not subject to open enrollment and takes applications year-round.

Some important things to know:

  • Eight out of ten Arizonans who have purchased coverage in the Health Insurance Marketplace in the past year have qualified for financial assistance to bring down the cost of their monthly premium.
  • There is free, local, professional assistance available to Arizonans statewide. Appointments can be made online through the Get Covered Connector at CoverAZ.org/connector or by simply calling 2-1-1.
  • Health plans must cover the basics, such as prescriptions and well visits.
  • Consumers with pre-existing conditions can no longer be denied coverage.

There are more than 100 plans in most Arizona counties.

Those who choose not to get covered during open enrollment can be fined up to 2% of their income or a minimum of $325, whichever is more.

Want to know how much you might expect to pay for coverage? Visit our Get Covered Calculator online at www.getcoveredamerica.org/calculator  to get an estimate.

Follow us on Twitter @GetCoveredAZ

#GetCovered #StayCovered

 




Get Covered at Columbus Healthy Resolutions Enrollment Event

January 7, 2015

COLUMBUS, OH – This Friday, Get Covered America and Cognosante will help Ohioans start the New Year off with health insurance by providing educational support and enrollment assistance at a Healthy Resolutions Affordable Care Act Enrollment Event at Northland Performing Arts Center (4411 Tamarack Boulevard, Columbus, OH 43229) from 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet with a trained professional and receive free one-on-one enrollment assistance to help them understand their options and enroll in a plan that fits their needs and budget.

The event takes place a week before another key Affordable Care Act deadline. January 15 is the deadline to enroll in coverage that would begin February 1. To help Ohioans get covered before this upcoming deadline, other enrollment events will be taking place throughout Central Ohio next week including locations in downtown Columbus, Whitehall, Hilliard, and northeast Columbus.

The second enrollment period through the Health Insurance Marketplace runs through February 15, 2015. To find where you can get local enrollment assistance and schedule an appointment you can visit the Get Covered Connector:https://connector.getcoveredamerica.org/widget/ or call the Get Covered America Columbus office, 614-636-0385.




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