KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Final Days Of Health Law’s Open Enrollment Marked By Stepped Up Outreach Efforts

News outlets detail the various strategies that are being employed to encourage more people to sign-up for coverage. Insurers are paying for ads and supporting the work of grassroots organizations. Meanwhile, students are volunteering and navigators are staying busy.  

The New York Times: In Alabama, College Students Take On Challenge Of Health Insurance Sign-Up
Students at the University of Alabama Honors College here are encouraged to do volunteer work in the community and on campus. For Marlan Golden, a senior, that has included being a Big Brother; running an education project for local Latinos; serving as president of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity; and, most recently, signing up people for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (Winerip, 3/12).

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Navigators Reach Individuals Through Businesses
A health insurance application counselor stood in the center of a downtown barbershop. “I’ll repeat myself,” announced Gloria Bailey, an outreach worker for Grace Hill Health Centers. “If anyone in here is uninsured...” (Kulash, 3/13). 

Marketplace: The Final Push For Affordable Care Act Signups
If you haven't signed up for health insurance by March 31, you'll likely face a penalty. The thing is, a lot of the uninsured don’t seem to know that the deadline is March 31.  Kantar Media says  insurance companies are now devoting almost half of all their ad spending to commercials with a health reform theme.  Insurers are also giving financial support to some grassroots groups, like Enroll America (Marshall-Genzer, 3/12).

In related news --

The Washington Post’s Wonkblog: HHS Will Push Back Against State Restrictions On Obamacare Ground Troops
After a number of states have passed laws limiting the reach of Obamacare “navigators,” the Obama administration is getting ready to push back. HHS has signaled it will soon take on restrictions that states have placed on the federally funded program meant to educate consumers about health insurance. There are different designations of Obamacare-related in-person help: navigators, in-person assisters and certified application counselors. Each designation has varying responsibilities, but the general idea is that they’re supposed to help people understand their insurance options under the health care law, though they can’t actually enroll anyone in coverage (Millman, 3/12).

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