We have been scouring health centers around the country in search of stories about patients learning about their coverage options and getting enrolled. We found a good one from our friends in Kentucky. Jessica Browning has been on the job as Outreach and Enrollment Director at Community Health Centers of Western Kentucky (Greenville, KY) for almost two months. The health center has been providing education about Kentucky’s response to the Affordable Care Act- kynect, Kentucky’s Healthcare Connection. Enrollment efforts began on October 1st and many have already signed up for coverage that will begin January 1st.
Here is her story:
“I had an appointment with a woman who hadn’t had insurance in 10 years. She was very excited about Kynect, but very nervous about the cost. She actually got up about 30 minutes into our meeting to take a pill (she called it her insurance pill) because she was so anxious about how much she was going to have to pay to get insurance. She knew she needed health insurance, and knew she didn’t qualify for Medicaid, but I don’t think she fully understood how much the Advanced Premium Tax Credit (APTC) could help her pay her monthly premium. After about 2.5 hours (she had to leave to get some information regarding tax returns, and the system was down for a bit which contributed to the delay), she left my office with a platinum plan that cost her only $33 per month (using the full $319 APTC). She was thrilled!”
Outreach and enrollment workers at health centers do have a daunting challenge in a state where the numbers of uninsured are over 690,000 and over half of the health center patient population are at or below 100 percent of Federal Poverty Level, according to a NACHC fact sheet