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Covered California’s All-Volunteer Outreach Program Spreads the Word About Affordable Health Insurance

For more than 100 years the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) has been an advocate for social justice, working to improve the quality of life for women, children and families.

Recently, part of its mission has been to help uninsured Americans obtain quality, affordable health insurance under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. NCJW-Sacramento has sponsored events to educate the community at local synagogues and schools. Volunteers have reached out to uninsured young adults about the importance of having health insurance and have posted information about Covered California™, the state’s new health insurance marketplace, on their website.

The organization’s members believe in the health care law because, as Claire Lipschultz, vice president of policy advocacy at NCJW-Sacramento, said, “Sometimes chicken soup just isn’t enough.”

In California, this dedicated group is not alone. It and more than 100 other organizations have joined an all-volunteer program at Covered California called the Community Outreach Network to raise public awareness about the new health insurance marketplace.

“Our partners in the Community Outreach Network are important advocates in our continuing outreach and education efforts to consumers,” said Covered California Deputy Director of Community Relations Sarah Soto-Taylor. “This work is voluntary and uncompensated, yet these partners have been enthusiastic participants in spreading the word. They are true believers in our mission of providing health care to the uninsured. Moreover, they are inspiring.”

An estimated 5.3 million Californians are eligible to purchase health insurance through Covered California, and about 2.6 million people are eligible for financial assistance to help them pay for it. More than 1 million additional Californians are newly eligible to receive no-cost or low-cost Medi-Cal.

So far, 90 organizations have signed partnership agreements for the Community Outreach Network. Another 367 organizations and individuals have expressed interest in joining and are currently going through the agreement signing process. It’s a diverse group, including nonprofit organizations, community health centers, health care providers, ethnic community centers, faith-based organizations, insurance agents and brokers, city and county offices and elected officials.

To see which Community Outreach Network member organizations are in your area, click here: https://www.coveredca.com/hbex/community-outreach-network/PDFs/CON-Partners-Contact-List.pdf.

Covered California is still recruiting volunteers and encourages all who are interested to complete and submit the interest form available at: http://www.healthexchange.ca.gov/Documents/Community%20Outreach%20Network%20-%20Interest%20Form.pdf.

The Community Outreach Network is part of Covered California’s broader outreach and education strategy to reach nearly 9 million individuals and more than 200,000 small businesses statewide. Covered California has trained 2,000 Certified Educators and more than 250 additional community-based organizations to increase consumer awareness about the new benefits and encourage enrollment in health insurance plans.

To see which certified Outreach & Education Grant Partners are in your area, click here:https://www.coveredca.com/hbex/educators/PDFs/Certified-Educators_Lead-and-Subcontractors-Contact-Info-w-Reach.pdf.

More information about Covered California’s Outreach and Education Program is at:http://www.healthexchange.ca.gov/Documents/Grantee%20Booklet_Updated.pdf.

About Covered California
Covered California is the state’s marketplace for the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Covered California, in partnership with the California Department of Health Care Services, was charged with creating a new health insurance marketplace in which individuals and small businesses can get access to affordable health insurance plans. With coverage starting in 2014, Covered California helps individuals determine whether they are eligible for premium assistance that is available on a sliding-scale basis to reduce insurance costs or whether they are eligible for low-cost or no-cost Medi-Cal. Consumers can then compare health insurance plans and choose the plan that works best for their health needs and budget. Small businesses are able to shop for competitively priced health insurance plans and offer their employees the ability to choose from an array of plans and may qualify for federal tax credits.

Covered California is an independent part of the state government whose job is to make the new market work for California’s consumers. It is overseen by a five-member board appointed by the Governor and the Legislature. For more information on Covered California, please visitwww.CoveredCA.com.

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