Are You Covered?
By Minister David Street,
National Director of Faith Initiatives and African American Engagement
It should come as no surprise that the uninsured rate in the African American community remains incredibly high. Despite historic gains in coverage during the first two open enrollment cycles, we know that 1 out of every 10 people (ages 18-64 years old) who identify as African American is still living without healthcare coverage according to the Urban Institute. We know that health insurance coverage increases access to quality medical care. We know that healthier individuals are able to be more productive in the workplace, have more stable personal lives and are less likely to pay huge out of pocket health costs. But what can we do to connect the remaining uninsured with the information and resources they need to get covered and thrive?
Enroll America’s Get Covered Academy empowers partners through mobilization trainings to maximize reach within the uninsured community. The Get Covered Academy helps organizations expand enrollment efforts and institutionalize a durable, sustainable culture of enrollment in communities nationwide.
Another tool Enroll America has developed that speaks to enrollment literacy is our Get Covered Connector, a free, easy-to-use online scheduling tool that connects individuals with a local expert who can offer free, objective, in-person assistance to help them get covered. In fact, consumers who received individualized, in-person help were 60 percent more likely to complete their application compared to those who attempted to enroll online without help.
Enrollment experts can answer questions and help families explore the options available to them, so consumers can be sure they’re enrolling in a plan that meets their needs and budget. One huge obstacle in the African American community preventing people from enrolling is a lack of information about the new quality, affordable health insurance options. For example, many consumers don’t know there is financial help available to lower the cost of their monthly premiums, making coverage more affordable for many.
We at Enroll America designed these tools with the consumer in mind – and we know that the African American community especially stands to benefit from the options available to them through the Affordable Care Act. Both the Get Covered Connector and the Get Covered Plan Explorer will be tremendous assets for consumers, and are a big step forward in reducing the disparities in health coverage that African Americans have faced for too long.
For more information on Enroll America’s tools and mission please visits us at www.enrollamerica.org.