Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today recognized more than 25 Pennsylvania organizations and businesses that have volunteered to help uninsured Americans get coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Secretary Sebelius made today's announcement at an event hosted by Congreso, a Champion for Coverage dedicated to strengthening Latino communities.
"A network of volunteers on the ground in every state -- health care providers, business leaders, faith leaders, community groups, advocates, and local elected officials -- can help spread the word and encourage their neighbors to get enrolled," said Secretary Sebelius.
Champions for Coverage are local businesses and organizations -- bloggers, community health centers, hospitals, communities of faith, and civic organizations. They will use publicly available materials -- both digital and in print -- from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to help members of their communities understand their new options through the Marketplace. There are many ways these organizations can help, including hanging a poster in their office, hosting an enrollment fair or educational event, or posting links on their website.
"We are both excited and thankful to have such a wide variety of businesses and organizations that want to get involved and help us spread the message about these new opportunities for people to access quality, affordable health insurance when open enrollment begins on October 1," said CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner.
"Congreso is proud to partner with HHS on this historic effort to expand access to health care coverage for all Americans," said Cynthia Figueroa, Congreso president and chief executive officer. "As a Champion for Coverage, we aim to be a trusted community resource for Latino individuals and families who want to learn more about their options for quality, affordable coverage thanks to the Affordable Care Act."
Today's announcement follows the significant progress made this summer on outreach and education around the Marketplace. Consumers can learn about and enroll in coverage later this fall through HealthCare.gov. They can participate in an online web chat, or call 1-800-318-2596 toll free to speak with a trained customer service representative.
The growing list of Pennsylvania organizations includes:
- ACLAMO Family Centers
- Berks Community Health Center
- Better Health Network
- Black Women's Health Alliance
- Central Montgomery Mental Health
- Columbia County Volunteers in Medicine Clinic Inc.
- Community Health Clinic of Butler County
- Congreso de Latinos Unidos
- Dermatology Associates of Plymouth Meeting
- Diagnostic Imaging Specialists LLC
- Family Planning Council
- Jewish Healthcare Foundation
- Keystone Rural Health Center
- La Comunidad Hispana
- Maternity Care Coalition
- Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania
- Mt. Tabor AME Church
- Office of HIV Planning Philadelphia
- Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health
- Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative
- Planned Parenthood Keystone
- Susquehanna Community Health and Dental Clinic Inc
- Welsh Mountain Health Centers
- West Philadelphia Salvation Army
- Women's Law Project
There will also be people in local communities who can provide in-person help with coverage choices. Last week, HHS awarded $67 million to 105 Navigator grant applicants. More than 1,200 community health centers across the country have received more than $150 million to help enroll uninsured Americans in coverage. And a partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services will help trusted local libraries be a resource for consumers who want information on their options.
Open enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace begins October 1 for coverage starting as early as Jan. 1, 2014. Visit HealthCare.gov to learn more and to sign up for account.
To see the list of 100 national organizations announced last week visit: http://marketplace.cms.gov/help-us/champions-for-coverage-list.pdf.
To become a Champion of Coverage, visit: http://marketplace.cms.gov/help-us/champion-apply.html.