From coverage to care – free, in-person health insurance enrollment assistance available

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December 12, 2016, Philadelphia, PA – Since the 2017 open enrollment period began on November 1 for Affordable Care Act coverage in the Health Insurance Marketplace, staff members from the Health Federation of Philadelphia (HFP) have helped over 585 people enroll with health insurance services, through the Marketplace or Medicaid.  This number represents a 17 percent rise in enrollment from last year. Staff members are ready and available to assist more Philadelphians obtain health insurance with free, in-person enrollment help.

HFP currently has eight enrollment navigators available for appointments at locations throughout Philadelphia including city Health Centers, local libraries, barber shops and the Community College of Philadelphia. Enrollment navigators assist clients in selecting the right plan for them, finding providers and determining eligibility for financial help.

Financial assistance is a key factor for many people seeking insurance plans, yet many are unaware that they qualify for assistance. In fact, according to EnrollAmerica, the nation’s leading health care enrollment coalition, more than four out of five people eligible to purchase plans on the Marketplace qualify for financial assistance.

This is especially true for students and young professionals. “The Advanced Premium Tax Credits offered by the Affordable Care Act are usually the difference between piece of mind and financial shortfalls for many of the full-time students and young professionals that I serve,” said Terrell Johnson, one of HFP’s enrollment navigators. “Unfortunately, few Pennsylvanians are aware of their eligibility for this additional assistance.”

Meeting with an enrollment navigator can help people obtain coverage and financial assistance. Open enrollment for Marketplace coverage closes on January 31, 2017. However, December 15, 2016 is the last day to enroll in or change plans for coverage starting on January 1, 2017. Enrollment navigators are encouraging people to sign up and utilize their insurance throughout the month of January.  Enrollment is open year round for Medicaid.

“We are unique because we screen our clients for Marketplace, Medicaid and Medicare eligibility. No matter the circumstances, we can help people find insurance coverage and make sure that they don’t fall through the cracks,” said Christina Kappiuzhathil, HFP’s outreach and enrollment coordinator.  Kappiuzhathil added “Our job is to assist people now and to help them transition, if needed, in the future. We won’t disappear, even if there are changes with the Health Insurance Marketplace.”

To make an appointment with one of HFP’s enrollment navigators call 215-977-7255 or email navigator@healthfederation.org. Appointments are available in English, Spanish and Mandarin. Walk-in appointments are also available at city health centers, libraries and the Health Federation of Philadelphia at 1211 Chestnut Street.

A complete list of locations and upcoming enrollment events is available at: www.healthfederation.org/portfolio/enroll