Get Covered America which is a national campaign that promotes the Affordable Care Act and is associated with Enroll America focuses on increasing the number of Americans who can get covered by health insurance. According to this group every one of six Americans are without health insurance covers. The survey showed that more than 4000 residents of Muskegon County came under the health insurance plans through the federal marketplace.
Stevi Riel led Enroll West Michigan - a regional coalition of wellness and social service agencies promoted the Affordable Care Act plans through the insurance marketplace.
"I still think we have a lot of work to do but the Enroll West Michigan coalition did a great job," Riel said. "We learned a lot last year about what works and what doesn't work."
The HHS felt Michigan residents would have an expanded choice for the next enrollment period as new health insurance issuers would now offer coverage. Toby Merkt - the HHS spokesman said that there would be an increase of as many as 25% issuers offering coverage in the marketplace for the coming year.
Riel said Enroll West Michigan partners such as Community Mental Health of Muskegon County, Hackley Community Care Center and Muskegon Family Care continued to provide enrollment assistance to residents and agency clients.
Michigan lawmakers approved the Medicaid expansion after a lot of deliberation so The Health Project, which maintains a second office in Shelby, is also assisting residents who want to apply for the newly expanded Medicaid program, the Healthy Michigan Plan.
Marilyn Tavenner, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said that 8 million Americans had selected plans on the exchange and 7.3 million had paid their premiums by September 18th.
Many people believed that about 700,000 people were released from their plans due to lack of payment, though many changed their plans due to marital status or pregnancy or change of employment. Some citizens changed due to new jobs with employer sponsored coverage.
Erin Knott, state director of Get Covered America, said on Monday that the group will be working nonstop with West Michigan agencies to ensure state residents enroll in healthcare plans and stay covered. The group's efforts will include recruiting volunteers and Certified Application Counselors.
"It is excellent news that more than 21,000 consumers from West Michigan got covered through the Health Insurance Marketplace," Knott said. "But our work is far from over."
Michelle D. Anderson, September 2014
Hannah Punitha (IRDA Licence Number: 2710062)