Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today recognized more than 25 Florida organizations and businesses that have volunteered to help uninsured Americans learn more and get coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
"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 from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) -- both digital and in print -- 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.
The growing list of Florida organizations includes:
Bay County Public Library
Bethlehem Baptist Church
CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers
Community Service Center of Perrine
Community service center of Westchester
Edge Benefits Consulting, Inc
Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida
Free Clinic Solutions
Health Council of South Florida, Inc.
Jackson Health System
Jessie Trice Community Health Center, Inc.
League of Women Voters of Florida
Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church
New Hope Human Services Inc
New Prospect Missionary Baptist Church of Oslo, Inc.
Okeechobee County Library
Outreach Community Care Network
Positive Images Enterprises, Inc.
Public Health Student Association at Florida State University
Safeguard Business Solutions Corp.
Sarasota County Libraries
Sunshine State Health Reform Advisors
Tallahassee Alumnae Chapter Delta Sigma Theta Sorority
Technology Resource Center, Inc
The McGregor Clinic
The Shnider Group LLC
True Fast Outreach Ministries, Inc.
We Care Jacksonville, Inc
Today's announcement follows the significant effort made this summer on outreach and education around the Marketplace. Consumers can learn about and enroll in coverage later this fall through HealthCare.gov, or cuidadodesalud.gov. They can participate in an online web chat, or call 1-800-318-2596 toll free (TTY: 1-855-889-4325) to speak with a trained customer service representative in any of 150 languages.
There will also be people in local communities who can provide in-person help with coverage choices. HHS awarded $67 million to more than 100 Navigator grant applicants. More than 1,200 community health centers across the country have received over $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 January 1, 2014. Visit HealthCare.gov to learn more and to sign up for account.
To see the list of 100 national Champions for Coverage 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.