Outreach, Education, and Enrollment – Key Components of Health Reform
The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation has just released its fifth Health Reform Toolkit. This final toolkit of the series (pdf) focuses on education, outreach, and enrollment strategies that helped usher in Massachusetts health reform’s success of covering over 98% of its residents.
After passage of Chapter 58, state agencies created a statewide, coordinated outreach strategy that was guided by two imperatives: 1) to build on—and leverage—existing functions, systems, and resources to the greatest extent possible and 2) to identify and utilize all available channels and “agents” in reaching individuals and families newly eligible for expanded health care coverage programs created by the law.
The toolkit underscores the importance of partnering with – and providing resources to – community-based organizations to assist residents in enrolling in and maintaining coverage and connecting them to care. With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the ongoing complex redetermination process, and the continued impact of the recent economic recession, the need for this work continues.
That’s why one of HCFA and the ACT!! Coalition’s top priorities is to restore funding for the MassHealth Outreach & Access to Care grants (see our factsheet, pdf) in the FY13 budget.
Without this funding, many community-based grantees are being forced to lay off staff, reduce services, or shut down all together, negatively impacting the economy and our ability to ensure that residents continue to receive proper assistance navigating the complex health insurance system.