People seeking assistance in enrolling in or renewing their health insurance coverage with Access Health Connecticut will have additional resources to do so courtesy of grants totaling $150,000 from The Connecticut Health Foundation (CT Health) and the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving (HFPG). The grants will go to 10 organizations in time for the second round of enrollment for health insurance in Connecticut, which begins on Nov. 15.
In-person assisters proved valuable during the first round of enrollment. Many of those who remain uninsured are the hard-to-reach, in particular those under age 35, males, African Americans and Latinos who may be disconnected from the health care system.
“Our goal is to ensure that knowledgeable and trusted in-person resources are available to reduce obstacles for these consumers who face multiple barriers, particularly in geographic areas where sizeable racially/ethnically diverse populations remain uninsured,” says Patricia Baker, president & CEO of the Connecticut Health Foundation.
In-person assistance is a critical component of a comprehensive “no wrong door” enrollment system, which allows consumers to apply for health insurance through different agencies, and then seamlessly routes them to the program for which they qualify, especially for our priority populations. The assisters, by virtue of their roles, are in a position to serve as Connecticut’s access to the ‘no wrong door’ enrollment system by providing one-on-one assistance in various ways – online, by phone, and store fronts. A recent member census by the Pert Group for Access Health Connecticut found that in-person assisters were a top source of information for members when they were researching their insurance plan options.
“Access Health Connecticut has provided thousands of Connecticut residents with access to quality, affordable health care,” said Linda J. Kelly, president of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving. “By providing people with the opportunity for one-on-one personal assistance, we can ensure that they will successfully navigate the often complex process to obtain insurance and avoid any potential penalties.”
Grantees receiving funding for in-person assisters include:
These 10 organizations were selected based on their proven track record in providing in-person assistance in the first 2013-2014 open enrollment period by meeting or exceeding outreach and enrollment goals set by the NIPA program. They also have a strong track record using culturally and linguistically effective outreach, education and enrollment assistance strategies in communities of color. They also must be committed to engaging at least 300 people, helping at least 100 people complete the enrollment process, and working at least 200 hours during the grant period.
About the Connecticut Health Foundation
The Connecticut Health Foundation (CT Health) is the state’s largest independent health philanthropy dedicated to improving lives by changing health systems. Since it was established in July 1999, the foundation has supported innovative grant-making, public health policy research, technical assistance and convening to achieve its mission – to improve the health of the people of Connecticut. Over the past 15 years,CT Health has awarded grants totaling $54 million in 45 cities and towns throughout the state.
In April 2013, CT Health announced its five-year strategic plan to transition to expand health equity as a focus. For CT Health, health equity means helping more people gain access to better care, especially people of color. Better care includes physical, mental, and oral health.
About The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving
The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, founded in 1925, is the community foundation for Hartford and 28 surrounding communities. It receives gifts from thousands of generous individuals, families and organizations and in 2013 awarded grants of more than $29 million to a broad range of area nonprofit organizations.