Get Covered America weekend of action offers opportunities to volunteer and spread the word.
The task of getting more people insured is never done. That’s why the Get Covered America campaign is kicking off a weekend of action on Friday. While celebrating its one-year anniversary of educating consumers about their new health insurance options, the campaign will be sending volunteers into communities across the country.
Volunteers will be knocking on doors, staging phone banks and conducting small business outreach. In addition to educating consumers about the next open enrollment period for coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare), which begins November 15, Get Covered America staff and volunteers will let consumers know they may be eligible for a special enrollment period right now if they have had a qualifying life event such as getting married, having a child, moving, or losing other health coverage. Consumers have 60 days after the life event to enroll through the Health Insurance Marketplace at Healthcare.gov.
In Michigan, volunteers will also be talking about the Healthy Michigan Plan — Michigan’s Medicaid expansion program — which is open for enrollment year-round and just reached the milestone of covering more than 300,000 Michiganders to date.
Over the past year, 3,400 volunteers in Michigan have donated time to the Get Covered America campaign to help educate consumers about the ACA. One of these volunteers is Rashad Woods of Wyandotte.
I’ve always believed in universal healthcare. When my daughter was born, she had great medical care but I thought to myself, ‘What if she didn’t? We’d be helpless. We’d have to beg for assistance.’ The Marketplace opened right after that and I jumped at the chance to help.
In addition to his full-time job and looking after his young daughter, Woods makes as much time as possible to volunteer, knocking on doors and even making phone calls from home when he couldn’t find a babysitter. Hearing people’s stories about getting health insurance keeps him motivated.
When you go out and talk to people and they say how they feel like a burden has been lifted once they got covered, it feels pretty good. I followed up with one woman who’d been let go from her job and was living off her 401K. With her new insurance, she was getting all the checkups she needs — and they’d found a cancerous skin mole early, before it had spread. She personally thanked me, and I was grateful for the chance to make a difference.
You can make a difference, too. Visit the Get Covered America website and enter your zip code to find an event this weekend near you.
If you need a little motivation, just consider these thoughts from Woods:
Picture yourself or a family member. At the end of the day, it’s not about political beliefs or the headlines. If you need to go to the doctor right now, what would be your best option? Think about what it would be like to not have health insurance.
[Image courtesy of Get Covered America.]