October 1 is right around the corner and with it, the start of open enrollment on the insurance marketplace. I know that this is important to real people—lots of my patients and friends at the clinic are welcoming to opportunity to finally afford medical insurance. There is of course some trepidation as people have to deal with new information and have to make new choices. There are so many people and organizations in the community who are putting hard work and great minds together to find the best way to help people with these choices.
What an opportunity for us! This is the most significant change in the access to care in my lifetime and all of us get to be part of that history.
Last week, Health Forward launched our marketplace enrollment effort. The Foundation will invest more than $700,000 to support outreach, education and enrollment in the health insurance marketplace. Our hope is that this initiative will build awareness of available insurance options through Health Forward’s existing channels and build a network of trusted and strong community organizations to provide in person assistance. Health Forward will directly contact uninsured residents of our service and encourage them to sign up via the federal website, hotline and area non-profit organizations.
The healthcare.gov website is a great resource for businesses and individuals, as well. I encourage you to visit the site if you have questions relating to your insurance, or the marketplace.
Of course, there will be some challenges as we move forward but there were challenges in 1966 when the first Medicare beneficiaries signed up and in 2006 when they signed up for Medicare Part D. Both of these required refinements, revisions and a learning curve. Both of these have resulted in significant improvements in the health of those who participate and have come to benefit seniors across all backgrounds.
I look forward to working and learning with you as we move forward on this journey.