Despite headlines that may confuse consumers about the state of health reform, Enroll Michigan is still open and providing free outreach, education and enrollment services across the state of Michigan. Many people may still be eligible for insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace, Healthy Michigan Plan, MI Child and other coverage options that are currently available. We encourage anyone interested in obtaining coverage to contact a local navigator or call the Enroll Michigan office at (517) 367-7293.
Dennis Paradis, MPH, has been a member of the Enroll Michigan Board of Directors for about one year. He joined the board as the delegate from the Michigan League for Public Policy and is a self-professed “public health geek.” He says job number one for him is to make sure that we still have an Affordable Care Act in the coming years.
“The Affordable Care Act has laid a tremendous base and has done a marvelous job covering the uninsured. We’ve made great progress bringing people in,” Paradis said. “I want to make sure we don’t lose progress, backslide, take out the Healthy Michigan Plan, or cut back on subsidies being offered to people.”
Dennis said the work Enroll Michigan does is impressive.
“Nationwide, the work being done is impressive. Michigan is acquitting itself very well. We’re looked to as a leader,” Paradis said. “I’m very proud that Dizzy Warren (Enroll Michigan’s executive director) is called on and looked to as an expert by many.”
Paradis is an instructor in health policy in the Michigan State University Institute for Health Policy’s Public Health program. He also serves as the executive director of the Michigan Health Policy Forum. Paradis is an accomplished health care executive with extensive experience in health policy, government relations, association management and hospital-physician relations. He lives in East Lansing with his wife.
(From the February 2017 EM Newsletter)
Outreach and education are key parts of your role as an assister and are crucial to helping consumers learn about and gain access to affordable, quality health coverage. Make use of the direct to consumer outreach best practices and resources below to evaluate and improve your organizations outreach.
Direct to Consumers Outreach and Enrollment Options
- Door-to-door outreach and direct phone calls can encourage in-depth conversations about consumers’ options.
- Brochures and other informational materials about the Marketplace offer a quick guide to important concepts.
- Social media posts advertise services and prompt consumers to investigate more.
- Posters, fact sheets, fliers, postcards, and videos are quick and easy communication projects that you can create yourself.
Direct Outreach Resources
- Review the Dos and Don’ts for Outreach and Education Assistance Activities in Federally-facilitated and State Partnership Marketplaces
- Learn the Tips for Assisters on Working with Outside Organizations
- Use the CMS presentation, Engaging Consumers in the Health Insurance Marketplace as a quick guide to reaching consumers effectively. The tips in this presentation are based on best practices and recommendations received from assisters nationwide.
- Customize the resources found on the Tools & Toolkits section of Marketplace.cms.gov, including flyers, postcards, and other outreach and education materials, based on your organizations needs and outreach goals.
- The Health Insurance Marketplace DIY Design Toolkit has templates with Marketplace logos for you to use – just add content and you are ready to go!
Things to Remember
- Remember that it’s against Federal law to place outreach or educational materials directly into a consumers mailbox.
- Do not call consumers using an automatic telephone dialing system or a prerecorded voice (frequently referred to as autodial or robo-calls) unless the consumer already has a relationship with you or your organization.
- Remember that if a consumer gives you their contact information, like a contact card, this is considered consent by the consumer for future contact as long as the consumer was clearly made aware that the information might be used for future contact. In this case, follow-up contact with the consumer is permitted.
Best Practices When Engaging Consumers in the Health Insurance Marketplace
- Target Your Audience
- Focus on the 2 E’s – Educate and Enroll
- Be Inclusive
- Emphasize Affordability
- Keep It Simple
- Keep the Door Open
- Persistence With Permission
- Share Feedback
- Stay Up-to-Date
Best Practices When Contacting Consumers via Email
- Keep email body copy short and direct
- Highlight the benefits available through coverage
- Feature a simple status table showing where the consumer is in the enrollment or re-enrollment process
- Frame re-enrollment as “renewing” coverage
- Provide a graphic or screenshot
- Include contact information
- Use exclamation points (!) and emojis sparingly
Best Practices When Contacting Consumers via Automatic Telephone Dialing Systems (Autodial)
- Understand the importance of autodial
- Consider your audience
- Target your autodial
- Have a clear introduction (name, business name, purpose of call, etc.)
- Keep message shorter than 60 seconds
- Include contact information
(From the CMS March Marketplace Update for Assisters)
Share your story at EnrollMichigan.com/Share-Your-Story.
As Enroll Michigan continues its work, Vicki said she would like to see Enroll Michigan take an active roll in assisting the residents of Flint deal with the health threats posed by lead and exposure to other toxins in their water.
“The effects of lead poisoning are long term and we have the ability to apply for and administer targeted grants dedicated to helping with the ongoing medical needs of this population,” she said.
Vicki was recently elected Chair of the Oakland County Democratic Party. She was a State Representative for the 37th District from 2009-2014, mayor of Farmington Hills, Michigan from 2003-2007, and had been a city council member. She earned her MBA and bachelor degree from University of Michigan – Dearborn.
Enroll Michigan’s Vice President Kathleen Johnston-Calati graduated from Michigan State University and obtained two graduate degrees from Western Michigan University. Her background is in senior housing management, health policy analysis with the Michigan Senate, and she was a lobbyist of a Medicaid health plan. Currently, she is Program Manager for the Michigan Disability Rights Coalition. She is also a Certified Navigator.
(From the November 2016 EM Newsletter)
Jo Murphy, executive director of the Michigan Medicare/Medicaid Assistance Program (MMAP), is Enroll Michigan’s Board President. In her role as executive director of MMAP, Jo collaborates with Enroll Michigan to make sure consumers gain access to and understand their health coverage options.
“It has a been a great honor to serve as the President of the Enroll Michigan board. Having worked with older adults and people with disabilities with Medicare for over 20 years I understand how important health care is to our citizens in Michigan,” Jo said. “The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been a lifeline to the uninsured by providing healthcare to more than a million people in Michigan. This new security makes families and individuals more confident and allows them to reach their full potential in our society.”
Jo said the Enroll Michigan Navigators and Assisters are amazing people. “Health care is very complicated and they enable people to make informed decisions about which plan is best for them,” she said. “As we move forward, I want to build on the good work that has taken place since the passage of the ACA and take our program to the next level. By continuing to work with our wonderful partners, Enroll Michigan will make life better for individuals and families and enhance the state of Michigan.”
MMAP is Michigan’s State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). MMAP services include providing Medicare, Medicaid, and other health benefits counseling for older adults and for people with disabilities. MMAP empowers individuals by conducting community education about their options, and by assisting with applications and enrollments.
(From the October 2016 EM Newsletter)
The 2017 Open Enrollment Period is over, and consumers can enroll in or change their Health Insurance Marketplace plan if they have a life event that qualifies them for a Special Enrollment Period. Life changes that may qualify consumers for SEP include loss of health insurance, changes in household size, changes in residence, leaving incarceration, becoming a U.S. citizen, and more.
The Marketplace also has a special enrollment period for people who were auto-enrolled in a plan, but want to change it. This particular SEP is only open until March 1, 2017, and consumers have to call the Health Insurance Marketplace for help (1-800-318-2596).
Share your story here.
More than 321,000 Michigan residents are among the more than 9.2 million Americans who signed up for 2017 health coverage through HealthCare.gov as of January 31, 2017, the end of this year’s open enrollment, according to the biweekly enrollment snapshot released by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently.
The report, issued on February 3, shows that 321,451 consumers have selected a plan in Michigan since open enrollment began on November 1, 2016. That figure includes 162,464 consumers in the Detroit area (a Designated Market Area).
Consumers may still enroll in Medicaid year-round, and could be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period through HealthCare.gov with eligible circumstances. Visit EnrollMichigan.com/Find-Local-Help to find a navigator near you, or visit EnrollMichigan.com/Calendar to find an outreach and enrollment event near you.