In March 2010, President Obama signed a comprehensive health reform, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), into law. ACA is a significant overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system. Its primary objective is to decrease the number of uninsured individuals, improve the quality of health care, and reduce overall healthcare costs.
Yesterday, on October 1st, 2013, the State of California has officially implemented its six-month open enrollment period through Covered California, the state’s new health insurance marketplace. With Covered California, 2.7 million Californians can now have access to a wide range of affordable options of health insurance.
In addition, the State of California has implemented a key provision of the ACA that would expand Medi-Cal to low-income adults under age 65, including those without children living at home. As a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), Tri-City Health Center (TCHC) is uniquely positioned to effectively adapt to an increased patient population as result of the expansion. Like other FQHCs across the U.S., TCHC is plays a critical role in the changing landscape, as its staff understands how to best serve the needs of hard-to-reach populations and people who have never accessed or navigated the health system.
TCHC has been preparing for this expansion and has been approved as a Certified Enrollment Entity. This certification makes us eligible to be trained and registered to provide in-person assistance to consumers and help them apply for Covered California Health Plans. Employees from the Member Services and Outreach departments are being trained to become Certified Enrollment Counselors to provide enrollment assistance to the many individuals that will be eligible for health insurance. In the next two weeks TCHC will be able to provide enrollment assistant on site and remotely.
TCHC is part of the Community Outreach Network that is comprised of local organizations and stakeholders, who will partner with Covered California to raise public awareness on the new insurance marketplace. In an effort to reach out to our diverse population, TCHC is exploring partnerships with new agencies to provide enrollment and assist clients from other organizations.
For more information you can visit Covered California https://www.coveredca.com/. If you have questions about the enrollment services and outreach contact Luretha Senyo-Mensah, Enabling Services Manager at (510) 252-6852 or enrollment assistance hotline at (510) 252-6808.