Cuyahoga Health Access Partnership (CHAP) Provides Information about Open Enrollment

The Health Insurance Marketplace is now open, and local and federal officials teamed up to make sure citizens are aware of their enrollment opportunities in their communities. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is sharing its 2016 enrollment goal and new information regarding the remaining uninsured. Open enrollment for 2016 coverage runs from November 1, 2015, to January 31, 2016. HHS expects 10 million individuals to be enrolled in coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplaces and paying their premiums—so-called effectuated coverage—at the close of 2016.

During a kickoff event in Cuyahoga County, CHAP Executive Director Sarah Hackenbracht said that “over the past couple of years, we’ve seen first-hand the real impact the Affordable Care Act has had in the lives of Ohioans. While the remaining uninsured will be harder to reach, we know that nearly 75% believe having health insurance is important, and we are ready to help them enroll.” CHAP is governed by a diverse collection of community stakeholders representing healthcare providers, payers, local government, and foundations—including the Academy of Medicine of Cleveland & Northern Ohio (AMCNO). These organizations and individuals are instrumental partners in our mission to provide a system of health access to Cuyahoga County’s adult uninsured population.   

“We are working hard to make it easier to get covered—in fact, you can even do so on your cell phone—but it takes the hard work of leaders and partners in the community to get the word out,” said HHS Region 5 Director Kathleen Falk. “That is why we are so grateful for the leadership and efforts of County Executive Armond Budish, the City of Cleveland, these great mayors, and the local ACA coalition.”

Hackenbracht and Falk were joined by Cuyahoga County Executive Budish, Cleveland Public Health Director Toinette Parrilla, mayors from surrounding communities, and local coalition members.

Because opening day of the Marketplace falls on All Saints Day (Sunday, Nov. 1), Enroll America and the local coalition created Souls to Enroll events. Three local churches, including Mount Zion, hosted the events on that Sunday. Since the Affordable Care Act’s coverage provisions took effect, an estimated 17.6 million Americans have gained coverage.

Almost 40% of the uninsured who qualify for Marketplace plans are living between 139-250% of the poverty level—which is about $30,000-$60,000 for a family of four, and more than 70% are employed. According to HHS analysis, the uninsured are younger. Almost half of those who qualify for Marketplace plans are between the ages of 18 and 34, but they may not know that they need to sign up for coverage. 

Last year, more than 28,000 people in Cuyahoga County selected or were automatically re-enrolled in quality, affordable health insurance coverage through the Marketplace.  For coverage to start Jan. 1, individuals must enroll by Dec. 15.  For more information on the Health Insurance Marketplace, please visit www.healthcare.gov, and to find a local assister, please visit https://connector.getcoveredamerica.org/widget/.

See the AMCNO Twitter feed and Facebook page for photos from the event.



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