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Friday, September 1, 2017

How to Counter Trump Administration Cuts to Marketplace Enrollment Funding

Elizabeth Hagan

Associate Director of Coverage Initiatives

Heather Bates

Director of Community Engagement

Yesterday, the Trump administration announced drastic funding cuts for outreach and enrollment. This deliberate effort to sabotage the health care law follows previous efforts to reduce marketplace enrollment by slashing advertising funding.

The cuts amount to a 90 percent reduction for marketplace advertisement funding and a 42 percent reduction in funding for Healthcare.gov. Navigator funding alone is being cut from $62.5 million to $36.8 million!

[See Families USA’s statement on yesterday’s announcement of enrollment funding cuts.]

We know from the past four open enrollment periods that in-person assistance is critical to helping consumers get insurance. Without funding for outreach and enrollment assistance, people across the country—and particularly communities of color, those who are harder to reach, and people who are most vulnerable—will struggle to get the coverage and care they need.

Ways you can contribute to a successful open enrollment

Despite this news, there are ways you can help:

1) Get the word out through social media, convenings, and your partners and leave no stone unturned: Publicize the fact that open enrollment is taking place from November 1- December 15. Share these dates with your networks and spread the word that most people can get financial help with coverage. Make sure consumers know where they can go for in-person help. 

2) Reach out to your elected officials today and explain the value of in-person assistance, which we know is twice as likely to lead to an enrollment: Contact your members of Congress at (202) 224-3121 and urge them to fund outreach and enrollment assistance for the fifth open enrollment period of the health insurance marketplaces.

You can also ask your governor, mayor, and other public officials to speak out about the need for this funding.

3) Advocate for and support outreach and enrollment in your community: Explore whether there are opportunities to fill the gaps that cuts in federal funding have created, such as by reaching out to local hospitals, philanthropies, or grassroots organizations that might be able to engage in outreach and enrollment activities. 

4) Lastly, please join us for our monthly webinar on September 14 at 2 pm EST where we will review these changes and be joined by Indivisible, Young Invincibles, and Out2Enroll to discuss how they can help amplify and lift up your outreach and education efforts. Register for our outreach and enrollment webinar now

We appreciate your partnership as together as we work to share the facts and spread the word about enrollment opportunities. Stay tuned for more information from us. 
 

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