Health Forward Awards $345,045 for Health Insurance Marketplace Enrollment

Date: August 22, 2014
Contact: Jennifer Sykes
Phone: 816-241-7006
KANSAS CITY, MO – The Health Forward Foundation (Health Forward) has awarded a total of $345,045 to five organizations for an outreach, education and enrollment effort based around the 2014 open enrollment period for the health insurance marketplace, which begins on November 15, 2014.

The funding will be used to enroll the uninsured in the Kansas City area by providing enrollment counselors, increasing collaboration, and recruiting additional enrollment partners. In addition funding will increase the understanding of health insurance through health insurance literacy efforts.

“Uninsurance is associated with many negative health outcomes, including forgoing or delaying necessary medical care. Encouraging enrollment in available health insurance options holds the promise of leveraging federal subsidies to achieve affordable coverage for Health Forward’s target population,” said Bridget McCandless, M.D., Health Forward’s President/CEO.

Grantees include:

Enroll Wyandotte, $99,900 — Focuses on community marketplace outreach, engaging faith communities, training nonprofit staff/volunteers, and health insurance literacy.
Cover Missouri, $30,000 — Regularly convenes Missouri-based application counselors and navigators for shared learning, creates materials for distribution, and builds awareness through social and earned media.
Kansas Association for the Medically Underserved, $48,620 — Partners with federally qualified health centers and other safety net clinics throughout Kansas to provide the training and technology necessary for in-person enrollment assistance.
Mid-America Regional Council, $60,500 — Convenes marketplace stakeholders throughout the KC-area for regular updates and planning.
United Way of Greater Kansas City, $106,025 — Operates the 2-1-1 comprehensive information and referral line and connects consumers with available services. In addition, United Way has a strong communications function that will be used to promote awareness of the marketplace
“The support we have received from Health Forward has been vital in the building of the Enroll Wyandotte campaign,” said Jerry Jones, Executive Director at Community Health Council of Wyandotte County. “The investment made here is enabling us to expand our outreach and enrollment footprint throughout Wyandotte. Furthermore, the willingness of the Foundation to go beyond the financial by serving as a strategic thought partner has been and will continue to be as valuable to Enroll Wyandotte as all of us continue down the path together to meet the needs of the uninsured and medically underserved in Kansas City.”

During the first enrollment period that ended in March 2014, 152,335 Missourians and 57,013 Kansans signed up for health insurance through the marketplace.

“We learned this past year that the enrollment infrastructure in Kansas City was not adequate to handle the high volume of in-person enrollment requests that occurred during the final weeks of the first open enrollment period,” said Jessica Hembree, Health Forward’s Program and Policy Officer. “Focus groups with area enrollment counselors also demonstrated that collaboration and learning between outreach and enrollment stakeholders will be crucial to increased efficacy in the coming enrollment period.”

United Way 2-1-1 and will serve as the central information hub for Kansas Citians looking for information and resources regarding the health insurance marketplace.

“We are excited about our new partnership with Health Forward to expand the awareness and resources available for people seeking information about open enrollment for the health insurance marketplace. United Way 2-1-1 is uniquely positioned to serve as the central information hub for people to call and get information about all the resources available to help them get enrolled for health insurance coverage,” said Brent Stewart, President and CEO of United Way of Greater Kansas City. “Helping people gain access to the health care services they need has long been one of United Way’s top priorities, and this new outreach through United Way 2-1-1 expands that focus in an important new way.”

-Health Forward-