This year's annual Health Action conference offered an enrollment assister track for people who help consumers enroll in Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace coverage. The track attracted navigators, certified application counselors (CACs), and enrollment program managers from across the country. Taking place just days after the close of open enrollment, Health Action 2016 gave assisters a chance to celebrate their successes. Here is a quick run-down of the highlights for assisters, in case you missed it.
One of the top priorities of the right-wing group Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is stopping Medicaid expansion across the country. And in South Dakota, they’ve stepped up their operations, working to derail expansion discussions in that state.
Whether you were a proud attendee at our 21st annual Health Action conference in Washington, D.C., or weren’t able to make it this year, our picks for 10 of the best moments from #HA2016 will help you reminisce or see what you missed.
Networking breakfasts kicked off the second day of Health Action. Attendees had the choice of joining the breakfasts for Enrollment Assisters, our Red State Caucus, and our State Innovation Learning Collaborative (SILC). The informal setting gave people a chance to meet each other and swap stories over yogurt parfaits and oatmeal. Then it was on to making the tough choices among workshops.
We report on a couple of workshops and plenaries from the day. Search #HA2016 for coverage of others.
On the first day of Health Action 2016, members of Congress who advocate for affordable health care on Capitol Hill addressed the audience. We also heard from Cecile Richards. Speakers reminded us about the collective action that fueled the passage of the Affordable Care Act—and that this same type of collective action will be necessary to tackle the health care and coverage challenges that remain.
Scroll down to read some highlights and search #HA2016 to join the conversation on Twitter.
Communities of color have long struggled with health disparities when it comes to the prevalence and outcomes of many conditions compared to non-Hispanic whites. This means that not only are these communities more likely to have conditions like diabetes, asthma, and certain cancers, they are also more likely to be sicker and even die from them. While there are many factors that determine someone’s health status, access to care—especially preventive services—is critical to narrowing the health disparities gap for some conditions that disproportionately burden communities of color.
Last July, four insurance giants announced proposed mergers. Anthem is proposing to purchase Cigna, and Aetna to purchase Humana. A merged Anthem-Cigna would cover 53 million people, and a merged Aetna-Humana would cover more than 33 million people. Together, these merged companies, along with United Health Group’s approximately 46 million insured consumers, would concentrate the coverage of 132 million lives in just three companies.
A new report released last week confirms the findings that enrollment experts emphasized on our teleconference with reporters last Wednesday: We still have a ways to go in getting “hard-to-reach” populations enrolled in health coverage.
While the few months of open enrollment are typically what most people think of when they think about marketplace health coverage, the truth is that enrollment happens all year long. Between helping consumers sign up for coverage when they experience certain life changes, enrolling people in Medicaid, and trying to educate the public about the Affordable Care Act, enrollment assisters are busy 365 days a year.