AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Health Access Foundation announced Tuesday that it has awarded $1,557,312 to 15 organizations from around the state to provide Maine people with the information and help they need to enroll in health plans offered through Maine’s new Health Insurance Marketplace, which was created as part of the federal Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
For the next two years, these groups will provide public education and assistance in a variety of ways. Some of their activities will include educating health care providers on new insurance options offered through the Marketplace, door-to-door canvassing, and holding informational and enrollment events in communities all over the state. Many of the organizations have staff who have been trained specifically to help people learn about their health insurance options, determine if they qualify for financial assistance, and help people successfully enroll in a plan.
“For the last three years, MeHAF has supported a broad array of strategies from grassroots efforts to statewide marketing to educate and inform Maine people about the changes brought on by Obamacare,” said Dr. Wendy Wolf, President and CEO of MeHAF in a press release. “The new Health Insurance Marketplace provides an unprecedented opportunity for many Maine people who have been unable to afford health insurance to finally get coverage. Our support for education, outreach and enrollment assistance clearly aligns with MeHAF’s mission to promote access to quality health care, especially for uninsured and underserved people in Maine.”
When the ACA became law in 2010, MeHAF stepped forward immediately to make grants to 10 organizations for the purpose of providing Maine people with the facts about how the law might affect them and their families. These new grants expand upon this education and outreach work to include resources that can help Mainers successfully enroll in health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
In addition to this grant funding, the foundation has worked with its grantees and other partners to launch a statewide campaign to raise awareness of new options for more affordable plans through the Marketplace. A centerpiece of the campaign is enroll207.com, a website designed to help people locate and access in-person assistance to help them review their coverage options and enroll. Recently, enroll207.com has expanded its list of in-person assisters to include ACA-certified insurance brokers, a blog, and the state’s most comprehensive list of ACA-related educational and enrollment events.
Later this month, a statewide marketing campaign will help promote enroll207.com through television, radio and online ads. This will supplement an ongoing social media campaign on enroll207’s Facebook, Twitter and YouTube sites, and city bus advertising in Portland, Lewiston and Bangor.
MeHAF and its grantee partners are organizing events around the state, including an upcoming forum for small business Jan. 21 in Lewiston, hosted by the Androscoggin County Chamber of Commerce. Consumers for Affordable Health Care will host a number of ACA roundtables for enrollment assisters around the state, including a Jan. 21 event at Penquis Community Action in Bangor and a Feb. 3 event in South Portland at The Opportunity Alliance.
MeHAF’s goal in helping Maine people sign up for health insurance is to enroll 20,000 people by the end of 2014.
Morgan Hynd, the MeHAF Program Officer in charge of this grant program said in a press release, “All of these events and on-the-ground efforts of MeHAF’s grantees will help Maine people successfully enroll in health insurance to preserve and improve their health.”
The Maine Health Access Foundation is Maine’s largest, private, nonprofit health care foundation dedicated to promoting access to quality health care, especially for those who are uninsured and underserved, and improving the health of everyone in Maine. MeHAF uses its grant resources and expertise to identify and move forward key initiatives and issues to improve Maine’s health care system so people across every region of our state have access to quality care for better health. To learn more about MeHAF, visit www.mehaf.org.
Health Reform Outreach, Education and Enrollment Awards are as follows:
- Community Concepts, Inc.; Joan Churchill; email@example.com; 739-6535; grant of $120,000.
- Consumers for Affordable Health Care, Joe Ditre, firstname.lastname@example.org, 622-7083; grant of $250,000.
- Division of Public Health, HHS Dept., City of Portland; Kolawole A. Bankole; email@example.com; 874-8773; grant of $119,998.
- Hand in Hand/Mano en Mano, Inc.; Ian Yaffe; firstname.lastname@example.org; 598-8926; grant of $30,000.
- Healthy Community Coalition of Greater Franklin County; Jennifer McCormack; email@example.com; 779-2750; grant of $120,000.
- Maine Association of Area Agencies on Aging; Jessica Maurer; firstname.lastname@example.org; 592-9972; grant of $120,000.
- Maine Equal Justice Partners; Deb Curtis, MPH; email@example.com; 626 7058; grant of $61,792.
- Maine Medical Education Trust; Jessa Barnard; firstname.lastname@example.org; 662-3374; grant of $85,790.
- Maine People’s Resource Center; Amy Halsted; email@example.com; 797-9207; grant of $120,000.
- Maine Primary Care Association; Darcy Shargo; firstname.lastname@example.org; 621-0677; grant of $25,000.
- MaineHealth/CarePartners; Carol Zechman; email@example.com; 662-7960; grant of $119,732.
- Planned Parenthood of Northern New England; Helen Reid; Helen.Reid@ppnne.org; (802) 448-9736; grant of $120,000.
- Preble Street; Jon Bradley; firstname.lastname@example.org; 775-0026; grant of $120,000.
- Somali Culture & Development Association; Dd Swan; email@example.com; 233-6014; grant of $120,000.
- Western Maine Community Action; Janice E. Daku; firstname.lastname@example.org; 860-4461; grant of $25,000.