Tuesday, September 5, 2017
(Boston, MA) - "The Trump Administration announced last night that the federal government will be slashing funding for outreach and enrollment efforts for marketplaces under the Affordable Care Act. This is a major setback for millions of people throughout the country who depend on in-person assistance to enroll in affordable and comprehensive health care coverage that meets their needs.
"Health Care For All (HCFA) opposes this decision to undermine the effectiveness of the Affordable Care Act and sabotage the tools created by the law to connect people with health insurance. HCFA believes strongly that these significant cuts, approximately 90% in investment for advertising campaigns and 40% in the appropriation for navigator organizations, will have a disproportionate and negative impact on hard-to-reach and vulnerable populations who rely on one-on-one help to access the care they need.
"Massachusetts has 15 solid navigator organizations supported by the Health Connector, our state-based marketplace, to assist consumers with enrollment. Health Care For All's HelpLine is one of these navigator organizations and assists around 20,000 callers every year to ensure that they have the information they need to be able to select a health insurance plan that meets their medical and financial needs. HCFA is committed to this work and will continue to implement community education campaigns and provide enrollment assistance in English, Spanish and Portuguese through its HelpLine.
"The funding for the navigator program in Massachusetts is not impacted by this announcement as these cuts will only affect those organizations and advertising efforts located in states where the marketplace uses the federal portal www.healthcare.gov. HCFA is fortunate to also count on other sources of funding for this work thanks to committed state and philanthropic private donors that believe in the importance of implementing outreach and enrollment efforts to reach those who need help applying for health coverage.
"HCFA calls on the Trump administration to reverse this decision and commends our congressional delegation, Governor Baker and our state legislators for their leadership in protecting the gains we have made. HCFA encourages all the stakeholders to stay strong in their commitment to the success of the Affordable Care Act in the state and to preserve the investments made in our communities. This partnership has allowed the Commonwealth to reach the lowest of uninsured residents in the country with over 97% of the residents in the state insured."