Affordble Care Act Next Steps

From the October Forum series on the Affordable Care Act:  ideas for possible CUCC action and resources to assist us in the work.  (Info on the Forum speakers is at the bottom of this post)

What is the first step to getting insurance if I am uninsured?
Go to www.healthcare.gov.  This site describes the insurance plans in the Health Insurance Marketplace for North Carolina.  You can do a side by side comparison of the different plans in simple, understandable language about their costs and what they cover.  If you set up an online account, you can enter your information to find out if you qualify for a subsidy to make your insurance more affordable and, soon, you will be able to enroll in one of the plans in the Health Insurance Marketplace.

Other useful websites
www.marketplace.cms.gov   Especially helpful with information on the "mothers reaching young adult children" campaign
www.ncjustice.org  and www.northcarolinahealthnews.org Up to date news on health care policy in NC
www.getcoveredamerica.org  Information, printable resources.
 
Is there someone who will stay in touch with me in case I run into questions as I make my decisions?
Absolutely.  Go to www.getcoveredamerica.org.   Click on the Enroll Now button.  Not only will they direct you to places in the community where people are available to help you, they will get in touch with you from time to time to see how your enrollment is going and if you would like additional help.

I'd like to help people become informed.  Can I volunteer?
Yes.  Here are ideas from the Oct. 27 Forum discussion.  Contact Adrienne Little or Ellen Beidler if you are interested in learning more about any of these efforts.  They will be putting people in contact with each other to work on some of these initiatives.

Attend a volunteer training at GetCoveredAmerica.  At Caitlin Metzgeur's office at 187 Wind Chimes Ct. off Six Forks north of Lynn Rd. Workshops are every Wednesday from 6:00-7:00 pm.

Encourage the NC General Assembly to expand Medicaid in NC to cover those with incomes under 100% of poverty.
  • Sign the Open Letter to Governor McCrory (NAACP-NC petition).
  • Attend the Dec. 23 Moral Monday in Raleigh, 4-6pm, Capitol.
  • If you can't attend, print a large copy of your face with a sign saying something like "Today I'm with my family.  We  have health care.  I wish all NC families did."  Other CUCCers will attach your photo to a stick and bring it to stand in for you.
  • Help plan and set up a Sunday morning letter writing at CUCC.
  • Go with a small delegation to meet with our Wake County legislators.
Help people become informed about the Affordable Care Act. Many North Carolinians still don't know that the health care bill has passed and that they might be eligible for insurance/subsidy.  Caitlin Metzgeur recommended these actions which CUCC is considering.  Her office has lots of free handouts and training.
  • Try the www.healthcare.gov website yourself.  You are more reassuring if you can tell those you meet that you've tried the process successfully. 
  • Join a group from CUCC visiting our neighbors who are likely to be without health care insurance (canvas).
  • Invite 5 people who are your friends or neighbors to learn about what the ACA may have to offer them and those they love.  You can do this at your home or at a coffee shop. 
  • Visit small businesses and hold meetings for people under 35
  • Participate in a phone bank to call people who are likely to need health care insurance.
 
Become a Certified Application Counselor (CAC).  CAC's volunteer at help tables and community events to answer questions and help people through the online enrollment process.  You decide how much time you have to offer and when.  We have two options to become CACs.  Talk with Ellen Beidler whose medical practice has agreed to sponsor a small number of CACs under their auspices.  Or sign up through Rex-UNC Healthcare.  You sign up to be a Rex volunteer; they do your background check and certify that you have completed the training.  The online training (which you can do at home) takes about 5 hours, but you might want to read the manual first (advice from Ellen Beidler who is a CAC).

Forum Speakers

October 6: What is Obamacare and what's going on right now?
Nicole Dozier and Adam Linker from the NC Justice Center will lead a discussion about the major elements and reforms included in the Affordable Care Act. Nicole is the Assistant Project Director for the Health Access Coalition. She currently travels the state engaging communities in NC about the Affordable Care Act and uses individuals' stories to push for policy changes. Adam is a policy analyst with the Health Access Coalition responsible for analyzing state and federal health care legislation and regulations and represents consumers on several state task forces studying how to implement health reform in North Carolina.

October 13: What are the Health Care Exchanges and how does enrollment work in NC? 
Aaron White, Eastern NC Regional Organizing Lead, will discuss the various efforts to enroll North Carolinians in the new Health Care Exchanges. Aaron is responsible for building relationships with NC's convening organizations and managing Enroll America's Get Covered America Campaign in Eastern North Carolina.

October 20th: What are the subsidies available for the working poor and what does all this mean in the eyes of a community health care provider?
 Dr. Michael Soboeiro, lead provider with Rock Quarry Road Family Medicine, will share his experience with health access issues as a physician passionate about community health. Dr. Soboeiro and his wife, Elizabeth, have recently moved to Raleigh from Pinehurst and have been attending CUCC. A representative from Wake County Human Services will also be available to speak to insurance subsidies and coverage under Medicaid.

October 27: What can CUCC do to assist in the outreach and enrollment effort?
Adrienne Little and Ellen Beidler will lead a discussion with those interested in determining what we at CUCC might do to help out in this effort or support those in our congregation who want to work on this initiative.