The Maine Health Access Foundation (MeHAF) announced today that it has awarded $902,910 to fifteen organizations working around the state to educate Maine people about enrollment in health plans offered through the Health Insurance Marketplace during 2015 open enrollment, which ends February 15.
Three organizations – Consumers for Affordable Health Care (CAHC), Maine Primary Care Association and Western Maine Community Action – will provide state-wide enrollment assistance and public education. As the state’s dedicated Marketplace Navigator, Western Maine Community Action and eight other Community Action Programs are offering free, local enrollment assistance at locations in all of Maine’s 16 counties. The Maine Primary Care Association supports enrollment efforts at 20 community health centers with over 70 locations statewide. CAHC is working to get the word out about the availability of quality, affordable health insurance plans on the Marketplace. CAHC also operates a toll-free Consumer Assistance HelpLine (1-800-965-7476) for people with questions about health coverage, including MaineCare, medication assistance, and help filing appeals or complaints.
Twelve other nonprofit organizations are receiving a combined total of $627,910 in grant awards to ensure communities from Milbridge to Stratton to Sanford have access to certified enrollment assistance and the information they need to select an affordable health plan for 2015. Over the next year these groups will provide public education and assistance in a variety of ways. Some of their activities will include educating health care providers on new insurance options offered through the Marketplace, door-to-door canvassing, and holding informational and enrollment events in communities all over the state.
“Since the Affordable Care Act became law in 2010, MeHAF has supported a broad array of strategies from grassroots, door-to-door outreach to statewide marketing to educate and inform Maine people about the changes brought on by Obamacare,” said Dr. Wendy Wolf, President and CEO of MeHAF. “The ACA’s Health Insurance Marketplace provides an unprecedented opportunity for many Maine people who have been unable to afford health insurance to finally get coverage. Our support for education, outreach and enrollment assistance clearly aligns with MeHAF’s mission to promote access to quality health care, especially for uninsured and underserved people in Maine.”
In addition to this grant funding, the foundation is continuing its statewide marketing campaign to raise awareness about the affordable health plans offered through the Marketplace. A centerpiece of the campaign is enroll207.com, a website designed to help people locate and access in-person assistance to help them review their coverage options and enroll. The website’s list of enrollment assisters includes ACA-certified insurance brokers, certified application counselors and federally-designated Navigators. The website also features a blog, and the state’s most comprehensive list of ACA-related educational and enrollment events.
After a highly successful first open enrollment period with over 44,000 Maine people signing up for new health plans, MeHAF’s goal in 2015 is to see most of those 44,000 re-enroll and to add another 15,000 new enrollees to the total. By December 15, Maine already had over 36,000 people enroll for the 2015 open enrollment period.
Morgan Hynd, the MeHAF Program Officer overseeing the foundation’s Outreach and Enrollment program said, “The availability of affordable health insurance is making a real difference in people’s lives and there are many local resources available all over the state to help Maine people enroll in new health plans.”
Health Reform Outreach, Education and Enrollment Awards
Community Concepts, Inc.
Consumers for Affordable Health Care
Division of Public Health, HHS Dept., City of Portland
Kolawole A. Bankole
Hand in Hand / Mano en Mano, Inc.
Healthy Community Coalition of Greater Franklin County
Maine Association of Area Agencies on Aging
Maine Equal Justice Partners
Deb Curtis, MPH
(207) 626 7058
Maine Medical Education Trust
Maine People's Resource Center
Maine Primary Care Association
Planned Parenthood of Northern New England
Somali Culture & Development Association
Western Maine Community Action
Janice E. Daku
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