The numbers reflect the growing popularity of the ACA and the success of outreach efforts.
Due in large part to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), aka Obamacare, America’s uninsured rate has dropped to 11.9 percent, the lowest level since Gallup and Healthways began tracking it in 2008. More Americans under age 65 now have self-funded insurance – in fact, nearly 9 in 10 Americans now have health insurance.
There’s no question that one-on-one assistance has helped educate consumers about their healthcare insurance options and enrollment in coverage. That’s the whole idea behind the Get Covered America campaign from Enroll America, which was created to inform millions of eligible consumers about their new health insurance options. The campaign has been tested, refined and proven successful through two enrollment cycles.
In Michigan, Get Covered America built on the lessons learned during the first enrollment period to reach as many uninsured Michiganders as possible. The results are clear:
- Nearly 47,000 Michiganders reached out to by Get Covered America staff or volunteers from April 2014-February 2015
- More than 3,100 consumer outreach and training events
- More than 2,000 volunteers donated time to the Get Covered America campaign
- More than 300 partner organizations were engaged to help in the outreach and enrollment effort since the beginning of the first open enrollment period
- To date, 341,183 Michiganders have enrolled in coverage
Erin Knott, Michigan State Director for Get Covered America, had this to say about the team’s efforts since April 2014:
We’ve reached out to nearly 47,000 Michiganders and worked with more than 2,000 volunteers statewide to ensure everyone had the information they needed to enroll in quality, affordable health coverage. While we’re thrilled with these numbers, we know there is much more to be done. That’s why Get Covered America will be working with our local partners to help everyone in the Great Lakes State get the financial security and peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re covered.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) obviously sees the benefits of in-person assisters, announcing this week an increase of $67 million in funding for in-person enrollment assisters next year.
In Michigan and the rest of the country, Get Covered America will focus on making its successes permanent by working with local organizations to educate and empower them with the tools and resources that have made the Get Covered America campaign so successful.
One of those Michigan partners is ACCESS, whose Public Health Coordinator Whitney Litzner had this to say:
Community organizations will be critical in ensuring that we keep the gains we’ve seen over the past two years and continue moving toward the goal of every consumer having access to the information, tools, and support they need to get covered, stay covered and use their coverage. We want everyone who needs help enrolling or help using their insurance to know that we’re here to help them understand their options and make the best choice for themselves and their families.
Although open enrollment ended on February 15, many people still have the opportunity to get covered through a special enrollment period through April 30, designed to help consumers who were unaware of how the fine for not having coverage affected them. Life-changing events such as getting married, having a baby, or moving to a different coverage area among others, may also qualify consumers to enroll through a special enrollment period during the year. Visit this tool at Healthcare.gov to see if you qualify for a special enrollment period.
Plus, low-income Michiganders may qualify for free or low-cost coverage through the expanded Healthy Michigan plan, which has year-round enrollment.
As always, for assistance visit the Get Covered Connector for one-on-one assistance.
[Image courtesy of Get Covered America.]