Archive for April, 2015

DEADLINE: One Day Left to #GetCovered Through Affordable Care Act Tax-filing Special Enrollment Period

April 29, 2015

COLUMBUS, OH – Just one day remains for Ohioans who faced a fine on their 2014 tax return for not having health coverage to enroll in a plan through the Affordable Care Act’s Health Insurance Marketplace and avoid facing the full fine next year.

In February, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a new, time-limited special enrollment period ending on April 30, 2015, giving some uninsured Ohioans who did not realize they would be fined for not having health coverage another opportunity to enroll in a plan for 2015.

“This new special enrollment period has given uninsured Ohioans another chance to enroll in quality, affordable health coverage and avoid the fine on their 2015 taxes,” said Get Covered America Ohio State Director Trey Daly. “With one day left until the deadline, eligible Ohioans should know about this opportunity to get covered so they can experience the peace of mind and financial security that comes with having health insurance.”

To qualify for this special enrollment period, consumers must attest that they first became aware of the implications of the fine after the end of open enrollment when they were preparing their taxes and were subject to the fine for not having health coverage in 2014.

The fine for not having health insurance for 2014 is $95 per adult in the family or 1 percent of household income, whichever is higher. For 2015, the fine increases to $325 per adult in the family or 2 percent of household income, whichever is higher.

There are other opportunities for Ohioans to enroll outside the open enrollment window if they experience a life changing event during the year such as getting married, having a baby, or moving to a different coverage area among others. Lower-income Ohioans who qualify for low cost coverage through the recently expanded Medicaid program can enroll year-round.

To find out if you are still eligible to enroll, Ohioans can schedule an appointment with an enrollment assister by visiting the Get Covered Connector, at or by calling 1-800-648-1176.To find out if you have experienced a qualifying life event, you can visit the HHS screener and answer a few questions.

Connector now in Spanish

April 23, 2015

Recognizing the need to reach as many individuals as possible who may be eligible to enroll in a health insurance plan, we have created the Get Covered Connector in Spanish.

This tool makes it easier for Spanish-speakers to schedule one-on-one appointments with certified experts in their communities, and review coverage options that may be available to them.

We know the connector is a huge success as evidenced by the 57,000 appointments scheduled during open enrollment 2. That is one of the main reasons GCA decided to do a Spanish-language version of this great resource.

And just like its English-language counterpart, the Spanish-language connector creates a seamless process for Spanish-speaking individuals to find local help; schedule an appointment; and talk to someone who can help them make the best coverage decision for themselves and their families.

Since 2013, 2.6 million Latinos have gained health coverage. Despite these gains, Latinos remain more likely to be uninsured than other groups. This is another reason for making the connector available in Spanish.

We invite you to share this resource with your teams.

Become a Communicator

April 20, 2015

Have you thought about how you can effectively spread the word about the Affordable Care Act? As we look to the future and begin thinking about Open Enrollment 3, there is one way you can lend your voice to the efforts.

The Get Covered America Communicators Program provides training and support for individuals who are seen within their community as trusted voices. These individuals can be pastors who see a need in their community; executive directors of non-profits that also help with enrollment efforts; public officials or a staff member, who are working to facilitate enrollment efforts for their constituents.

So, what are the requirements to be a communicator?

First and foremost, willingness and availability to speak with the media about enrollment efforts. Be available for a monthly communicators call led by our staff in DC. You will also receive a weekly email with latest news and resources.

In addition to the calls and emails, our staff will also provide:

  • Opportunities for one-on-one or small group trainings
  • Support from our staff on fielding press requests and working with local media
  • Opportunities to learn best practices and collaborate to earn press coverage through our combined efforts

If you are interested, or would like to learn more, please contact Vicki Adame, Texas Communications Director via email:

RCJ Interview

Last Day to Register for Texas State Partner Conference

April 16, 2015

Today (April 17) is the deadline to register for the free 2015 Texas State Partner Conference.  

The conference will be held April 29- 30 at the Dallas County Schools Training Technology Center. This is an opportunity to not only share the successes of the last open enrollment, but also get tips and training that can be used as we head into the next open enrollment period.

Agenda items include a debrief of what happened during the second enrollment period; training on data and digital programs to reach the uninsured; a discussion on utilizing local earned media to support enrollment outreach; best practices when working with local governments and coalitions; and a talk by District 6 HHS Director Marjorie Petty. We also hope to have a special guess from the White House. A detailed agenda may be found below.

While there is no charge to attend the conference, attendees do need to register by today, April 17. To register:​.

Lunch will be provided both days and breakfast on Thursday.­­­­­­ There is a Holiday Inn Express and a Quality Inn near the conference site for out-of-town guests.

If you have any questions regarding the state conference, please contact Catherine Samuel,


Conference Agenda


Wednesday, April 29


9 a.m.               Registration


10 a.m.            Welcome & Introduction: Mimi Garcia, Texas State Director, Enroll America                                                                                         

10:30 a.m.       What We’ve Learned from the Second Open Enrollment Period:  Mario Castillo, Texas Deputy State Director, Enroll America                      


11 a.m.            Regional Coalition Presentations: Enroll America Staff and Regional Enrollment Coalition Members


Noon                Lunch


1 p.m.               Overview of Enrollment Tools


1:45 p.m.         Transition


1:50 p.m.         BREAKOUT SESSION I: Cross regional guided and open discussion. Conference participants will have the opportunity to share best practices and speak with their peers from other parts of the state in small groups. These groups will be lightly facilitated by Enroll America staff, but will be open to focus on topics most important to participants.


2:30 p.m.         Break/Transition


2:45 p.m.         BREAKOUT SESSION II

Option A: Strengthening Enrollment Coalitions: Working in a coalition can be both rewarding and productive, but at times also challenging. This session will focus on strategies for building new coalitions, strengthening current coalitions, and making sure the right people are around the table.


Option B: Using Data to Support Partner Coordination: Coordinated data tracking can provide clear guidance and measures on outreach and enrollment throughout a campaign life span. This session will focus on reporting data tools available to GCA partners and how they can best be utilized by individual organizations and coalitions for more effective outreach.


3:30 p.m.         Coffee Break


3:45 p.m.         The Science of Enrollment Fair: Proven tools and strategies for boosting enrollment and impacting lives, hosted by Enroll America and State Partners. This interactive area will give conference attendees the opportunity to learn more about each of the tools and strategies that go into an effective outreach campaign in a fun “science fair” type of environment. Be sure to bring your punch card and stop at each booth in order to be entered in the door prize drawing!


5:15 p.m.         The Science of Enrollment Fair – Debrief


5:30 p.m.         Closing, look ahead to day two, evaluations



Thursday, April 30


8 a.m.               Breakfast


9 a.m.               Day Two Welcome


9:10 a.m.         The Future of Enrollment/The Future of Enroll America: With Open Enrollment 3 on the horizon, what is head of us? We will explore strategies for engaging in a changing environment and how we can start working now to be ready for enrollment in the fall. We will also be debuting some new resources Enroll America will be developing for partners this summer.


10 a.m.            *Keynote Speaker (TBD, session subject to change)


10:30 a.m.       BREAKOUT III

Option A: The Power of Local and Constituency Press: Learn how to utilize local earned media to support enrollment outreach. Work on your messaging skills, interview techniques and how to engage local reporters.


Option B: Enrollment is Local: Working with City and County Health Departments to Get People Covered:  Learn from a city that is integrating ACA outreach into all the work they do. City of Houston Health and Human Service ACA Operations Chief, Maria DeLaCruz will lead this session on best practices for engaging cities and counties in enrollment work.


11:15 a.m.       Transition


11:20 a.m.       Regional Coalition Planning: This planning session will be an opportunity for you to reconvene with your colleagues from your local coalitions to start planning and synthesizing things learned over the past day.

Noon                Lunch


12:30 p.m.       Reconvene and Debrief


1:30 p.m.         Wrap-up, Door prize, and day two evaluations


2 p.m.               Adjourn



New County Numbers Show Substantional Increases in Health Insurance Enrollment

April 13, 2015

All the hard work to enroll Texans in an affordable, quality health care plan during the second open enrollment period paid off. Across the state, there were huge increases in the number of people who enrolled.

A new analysis of data by Enroll America breaks down the numbers by county and shows substantial increases in the numbers of people who enrolled or re-enrolled in health care coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace during the second open enrollment period of the Affordable Care Act, which ran from Nov. 15, 2014 to Feb. 22, 2015.

Here is a snapshot of some counties across the state.

Houston Area:

  • Harris County: 225,784;  64 percent increase
  • Brazzoria County: 12,755;  61 percent increase
  • Montgomery County: 20, 157;  79 percent increase

Austin Area:

  • Travis County: 65,505;  54 percent increase
  • Williamson County: 22,481;  62 percent increase
  • Hays County: 9,018;  63 percent increase

Dallas Area:

  • Dallas County: 127,232;  53 percent increase
  • Tarrant County: 94,567;  54 percent increase
  • Collin County: 46,334;  66 percent increase

San Antonio Area:

  • Bexar County: 93,925;  53 percent increase
  • Bandera County: 901;  107 percent increase
  • Comal County: 5,244;  85 percent increase

Waco Area:

  • Bell County: 7,701;  95 percent increase
  • Brazos County: 4,894;  85 percent increase
  • McLennan County: 7,138;  91 percent increase

Rio Grande Valley Area:

  • Hidalgo County: 34,920;  65 percent increase
  • Cameron County: 18,083;  73 percent increase
  • Starr County: 2,907;  70 percent increase

El Paso Area:

  • El Paso County: 55,083;  69 percent increase


National State of Enrollment Conference Early-Bird Deadline

April 8, 2015

The early-bird deadline for the State of Enrollment Conference is just days away. The last day to save money by registering with the early-bird rate is April 13. Last year’s conference sold-out so we encourage everyone thinking about attending to register now.

The national conference will be held June 10-12 at the Renaissance Washington Hotel in Washington DC. This is a great event to not only network with colleagues from across the country, but also share experiences and take part in interactive training events.

Agenda items include the latest high-tech efforts to support outreach and enrollment, including innovative data and digital programs to reach the uninsured; a debrief on what happened during the second enrollment period; and discussion on best practices in outreach and enrollment assistance from around the country.

There is a special hotel conference rate, but rooms are limited. The special rate is valid through May 18. Be sure to mention the Enroll America conference when you call to make your reservation.

For more information on the conference go to:

We hope to see you there.







Health Insurance Literacy

April 2, 2015

We all know the importance of getting covered, but equally important is knowing how to use that coverage once you have it. That’s why we are pleased to share with you our revamped Enroll America Health Insurance Literacy hub.

The site is filled with useful information from choosing a plan to health insurance basics to just about everything in between. In addition there are digital tools, videos, fact sheets and more that will help you.

The site is a one-stop shop of sorts where most of your health care-related questions can be answered. We’d love your feedback if you think there is a way to improve the site.

Take a look and let us know what you think.

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