Open enrollment for the ACA Marketplace begins November 1 and runs through December 15. New Jersey residents will have three carriers to choose from: Horizon BCBSNJ, AmeriHealth, and Oscar. The 2018 rates should come out any day now and will be higher than they otherwise would have been if Congress or the Administration had authorized payment of the Cost Sharing Reductions (CSR).
To make matters worse, advertising to promote Open Enrollment and funding for navigators to help people in New Jersey enroll have been cut significantly. There will be fewer navigators to help people figure out the best plan for them — it’s a lengthy and complex process — and confusion reigns due to the multiple failed attempts to repeal the ACA.There are specific things that you or your organization can do to get the word out about Open Enrollment and help people get covered. Here are a few. If you have additional ones, please send your suggestions. Together, we’ll continue the important work of getting people covered.
- Check out and share www.marketplace.cms.gov. There are training materials, webinars, FAQs, and customizable templates for groups that are providing direct assistance to people.
- Go to www.GetAmericaCovered.org. It’s a non-profit created to fill the void and get the word out. They need your help. The co-founders ran outreach and public education for HealthCare.gov over the last three years. They created the Five Facts flier that you can download and use.
- Get the word out that there is still free in-person help available at 1-800-318-2596 or visit http://localhelp.healthcare.gov.
- Share and tweet CoverNJ.org, a website created by NJ For Health Care, a coalition of organizations that supports consumer solutions to help people get the health care they need. The site lists navigators and assisters by county in New Jersey and will be updated soon. Volunteers are needed to help spread the word. You can help organize a local outreach event, print and distribute informational flyers, or support other activities that raise awareness in your community. If your organization can help with this effort, please contact Maura Collinsgru at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Because of the ACA and all the prior enrollment efforts in New Jersey, our uninsured rate is now 8 percent, the lowest ever recorded. With higher rates of coverage, and greater access to primary and preventive care, New Jersey is a better place to live.
We worked hard to reach the record low rate of uninsured in New Jersey. We need to work together even harder now to keep it there.