Despite massive government efforts to increase enrollments in health insurance programs through the Affordable Care Act, many people are opting out of insurance, even in states that have implemented the Medicaid expansion. A recent health tracking poll (attached below) by Kaiser Family Foundation shows that many Americans are not signing up for health insurance because they consider insurance programs too expensive. Many uninsured do not know that there are tax credits available to help them get affordable coverage, or struggle with language barriers or a lack of knowledge on how to navigate the health insurance marketplaces. Above all, ACA has become a polarizing political issue, which has had an impact on enrollment.
A key strategy for addressing lower health insurance enrollment rates is closer involvement of community based organizations and advocacy groups with underserved populations. These institutions can provide linguistically and culturally appropriate information, encourage trusted sources like primary care physician to educate the population, and leverage social ties to bring providers and payers together.
GHDonline is pleased to welcome an exciting group of experts to share their knowledge about involving communities in decision-making processes to improve insurance enrollments:
● Dan Burrier, CEO at Common LLC
● Heather Dummer Combs, Project Manager at Milwaukee Enrollment Network
● Michelle Fitzgerald, LMSW, Lead Navigator at Cherry Health, Heart of the City Health Center
● Sovereign Hager, Staff attorney at New Mexico Center for Poverty and Law
● Marcus M. McKinney, DMin, LPC, Vice President of Community Health Equity and Health Policy at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center
● Carlos Olivares, Executive Director at Yakima Valley Farmworkers Clinic
During our week-long discussion, panelists will address the following questions:
1. How you do engage community members, specifically the ones who fall through the cracks, to enroll in health insurance programs?
2. Are there particular patient populations where your work has had the most impact? If yes, what kind of metrics do you have in place to measure that impact?
3. What are the keys to successful collaboration with the community? How do you ensure that the relationships you build with community are sustainable?
4. One interesting prospect for higher enrollment are Community Based Health Insurance Programs (CBHI), which have been particularly effective in some settings. In your experience, what are the key factors of successful CBHI programs—what role can they play in increasing enrollment?
5. What “do’s” or “don’ts” have you learned from the ACA’s open enrollment period in 2013/14? What are you doing differently this time around?
This panel is part of our US Communities Initiative, which is supported by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and aims to foster discussions between health care professionals on evidence-based practices, and translating these practices across disparate settings, to improve healthcare delivery in underserved populations in the US.
In an effort to understand the impact of our Expert Panels, please take our short (4 question) survey before the discussion begins: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/BK9PRLL
We’re looking forward to a rich discussion next week – please join the conversation and share your questions or comments for our panelists!