As we enter the final days of this historic open enrollment period, more than 6 million Americans have signed up for coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplaces since October 1, thanks to the Affordable Care Act.
There’s still time to get covered before the March 31st deadline, but you need to act now. Complete your enrollment by applying online, calling 1-800-318-2596/TTY 1-855-889-4325, or finding help in your community at localhelp.healthcare.gov.
Posted March 17, 2014
By Marilyn Tavenner, Administrator, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
As this historic open enrollment period enters its final weeks, millions of Americans are finding quality, affordable coverage thanks to the Affordable Care Act. Fernando Valdez and Denise Schroeder were part of a weekend wave of consumers signing up for new coverage and bringing enrollment nationwide to more than 5 million through the Federal and State-based Marketplaces since October 1st.
Fernando Valdez, 25, of El Paso, New Mexico woke up early on Saturday, after his mother insisted that he walk to an enrollment center and enroll in Marketplace coverage. Now, he will pay $22 a month for his health insurance. Fernando said that he walked away knowing that if “I get into an accident I will not be in trouble with trying to find health care.” Read more about Fernando’s story at: http://www.elpasotimes.com/news/ci_25353816/enroll-el-paso-makes-push-get-residents-enrolled?IADID=Search-www.elpasotimes.com-www.elpasotimes.com.
And Denise Schroeder says she now feels like “I have a whole new life” after enrolling in coverage in recent days. Denise, a small business owner in West Chester, Pennsylvania who runs “Happy Heart Clown N’Stuff” which does balloon decorating and entertainment for parties is also a cancer survivor. Because she had cancer, Denise knew she couldn’t let her health coverage lapse, but the $880 premium she was paying each month wiped out her savings account, and she said it was killing her. But after working with an enrollment navigator, she enrolled on Thursday in a Silver Plan for $22 a month. When she saw the new premium, she cried.
You can find more stories like theirs at http://www.hhs.gov/healthcare/facts/mystory/index.html.
Consumers like Fernando and Denise are coming every day to check out their options for affordable health care at HealthCare.gov or seeking help from a trained representative in person or via our 24/7 call center. The last several days have been the busiest since December, with the Call Center taking more than 198,000 calls on Thursday alone –the busiest day since December 23—and more than 130,000 calls over the weekend. Last week, HealthCare.gov saw more than 4 million visits—and an additional 1 million visits this weekend.
With only two weeks to go, we’re continuing to work hard to ensure that every American who wants to enroll in affordable coverage by the deadline of March 31st is able to do so. So don’t delay; tell your friends and family to sign up today.
The blog below is live here: http://www.hhs.gov/healthcare/facts/blog/2014/03/marketplace-enrollment-hits-5-million.html.
The Alcohol Drug Council of North Carolina (ADCNC) reaches the Recovery Community by providing official Navigator Assistance for enrolling and applying for Affordable Care Act (ACA) health insurance coverage. ADCNC is one of the four Affordable Care Act grantees in North Carolina and one of a handful of grantee in the nation to serve the recovery community.
ADCNC has been covering a wide spectrum across North Carolina with 23 navigators, assisting people in recovery from as far west as Asheville to as far east as Wilmington. Nyi Myint, the ADCNC Navigator program manager, states that, “in order to really serve our mission, we felt it was crucial to have navigators who understand the recovery process and the specific needs that people in recovery face. All of our navigators have a background in recovery, social work or mental health. Twelve out of 23 of our navigators have their masters degrees, giving them a better understanding of the issues people in recovery face and how to help to address their specific needs”. Navigators provide an accessible and easy to understand forum providing educational materials and one-on-one assistance answering questions and assisting consumers with insurance enrollment via the Marketplace.
Outreach efforts for ADCNC go beyond public forums like libraries, churches and coffee houses and into highly impactful places where people in recovery are located. Myint states, “we have a dedicated team who make weekly and some times daily visits to the North Carolina Oxford Houses www.oxfordhouse.org/. Oxford Houses are self-run, self-supported, addiction recovery houses throughout NC and throughout the United States. ADCNC navigators can also be found providing navigation services in Raleigh’s, The Healing Place www.hpowc.org/ every Thursday as well as providing continued outreach efforts with TASC (Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities), a not-for-profit organization that provides behavior al health recovery management services for individuals with substance abuse and mental health disorders, just to name a few.
To reach this specific audience, ADCNC developed an integrated communications campaign to speak specifically to people in recovery focusing on the treatment and recovery message, “Health Insurance gives you access to Treatment. Access to treatment gives you a better chance of Recovery.” As part of the integrated campaign, ADCNC launched a social media presence including a website, www.HealthCareNCnow.org,
www.Facebook.com/HealthCareNC and a Twitter handle, @ HealthCareNCNow as a social media home base specifically for the recovery community. Additional targeted educational materials like handouts, brochures and signage were developed to drive awareness and education about the importance of insurance to support recovery efforts. Navigators use these materials when meeting with consumers to help guide them through the process.
The regular enrollment period will end March 31st, but ADCNC’s outreach efforts will only continue to grow over the next few months as we assist during the special enrollment period to educate and enroll thousands of the underserved recovery population.
The Alcohol Drug Council of North Carolina (ADCNC) provides information and referral for alcohol and drug treatment. For more information on the Alcohol Drug Council of North Carolina and its efforts, go to www.alcoholdrughelp.org