Outreach and Enrollment open season approaches yet again, along with autumn leaves and Christmas decorations. This is the third open season, which starts on Sunday, November 1. As we’ve reported in a previous blog post, Community Health Centers have been key partners in connecting people and communities with coverage. They also have a long and rich history of outreach to communities and people, and have the networks on the ground to get the job done. They have hired an estimated 19,000 outreach and enrollment assistance workers, held trainings, and launched a host of creative and engaging outreach events across the country at libraries, health fairs, supermarkets, churches, and in their own waiting rooms.
Jim Macrae, Acting Administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration notes, “As open enrollment starts again, health centers will continue to play a critical role in educating and enrolling members of their communities in health insurance coverage. To date, health centers have assisted over 12 million people in their efforts to find health insurance coverage. This November, health centers will once again be on the front-lines as more and more community members are turning to them to find out about affordable health insurance options.”
With two previous open seasons behind them, health centers have also streamlined their processes and fixed some kinks. A NACHC survey of health centers last spring revealed that 84 percent of respondents said the second open enrollment season met or exceeded expectations in terms of total enrollment assists, and that there were fewer problems. And there is a lot of optimism and excitement this go around as health centers are already lighting up social media with photos and flyers sporting the #Heretohelp hashtag.
Is your health center doing some special to get out the word about open season? Tell us and we’ll write about it on this blog.