The regular open enrollment period for 2015 health insurance coverage came to a close on February 15th. For the second year in a row, the Affordable Care Act provided community members a chance to renew or purchase health insurance through an insurance exchange. Following an initial year of system challenges, questions and frustrations, the 2014 open enrollment experience left many anticipating a complicated process for 2015. Fortunately, Valley residents had access to meaningful local help. With support from Community Choice, Room One Client Advocates Lori Valentine and Maureen Collins were trained as Navigators through the In-Person Assister (IPA) program to guide our neighbors through the enrollment process.
Room One IPA Program - A Recognized Success
Reflecting on the 2014 enrollment period, Curt Fackler, Manager of Navigators in Eastern Washington, shared that “Room One stepped forward and became one of the best non-clinical partners in Eastern Washington. I [now] use Room One as an example of how to best organize a community to enroll individuals into the Healthplanfinder.” Curt reported that due to the “hard work” of Room One Navigators “over 250 individuals now have health insurance that were previously uninsured.”
Although not without challenges, overall the 2015 enrollment period was a success. A significant portion of Valley residents registered for Washington health plans, many for the first time. During the mid-November through February enrollment period, Room One Advocates have addressed insurance needs with over 100 individuals: “For people who need help, it’s amazing you guys are here for us. You guys are awesome! Peace of mind is all you can truly ask for. Thank you.”
*The Benefits Exchange announced a special open enrollment period for clients who experienced barriers enrolling during regular enrollment. These clients can now enroll (and work with a Room One Navigator) until April 17, 2015.