NEW ORLEANS, LA – Beginning today, thousands of uninsured and self-insured New Orleanians will be able to sign up for health coverage options available through the new Health Insurance Marketplace created by President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
Throughout the open-enrollment period, the New Orleans Health Department (NOHD) will assist in community outreach efforts to help local organizations and residents understand the new benefits available to them and how to enroll. This includes systems level coordination with area safety net providers, outreach to local influential leaders, and outreach and education to grassroots organizations and individuals.
“Today is the beginning of a six-month period where, for the very first time, New Orleanians have a whole new way to shop for and purchase affordable, high quality health coverage,” said New Orleans Health Commissioner Dr. Karen DeSalvo. “It is a new day in health care and we want people to be prepared to take advantage of this opportunity.”
The Marketplace will primarily serve individuals and families who are U.S. citizens or legal residents, and who are not offered affordable employer sponsored coverage and ineligible for Medicaid, Medicare, or Tricare benefits. Tax credits (or discounts on monthly premiums) will be available to individuals making between $11,500 and $46,000 per year.
Of the approximately 63,000 individuals without insurance in New Orleans, nearly half may be eligible to receive tax credits on the Marketplace.
For those who enroll today through December 15, health coverage will begin on January 1, 2014. The open enrollment period ends on March 31, 2014.
NOHD is working on several fronts to share information with the community and facilitate enrollment during this period.
The New Orleans Health Department has developed relationships with libraries, industry associations, schools, faith based leaders, business leaders, and others to implement strategic outreach efforts targeting individuals who may be eligible for the Marketplace.
The City has posted information about how to enroll and links to useful resources at www.nola.gov/marketplace.
The New Orleans Health Department will make Marketplace information available at upcoming community events, including a Play Streets event on October 5 at Conrad Playground (3400 Hamilton Street); NOLA FOR LIFE DAY on October 12 at St. Roch Park (1800 St. Roch Avenue), and Play Streets events October 19 and 26. Additional events will be posted online.
NOHD has used federal grant funds to hire a full time Marketplace Outreach and Enrollment Specialist to assist individuals who may enroll in the Marketplace.
To access the Marketplace and fill out an application go to: HealthCare.gov or CuidadoDeSalud.gov
More information about the Marketplace is also available through 24/7 call center at 1-800-318-2596 (TTY 1-855-889-4325)
Text-based information system for GNOCHC now available.
The New Orleans Health Department also announced the launch of an innovative text messaging initiative that lets residents easily check their eligibility for the Greater New Orleans Community Health Connection, a Medicaid waiver that provides primary and behavioral health care services with no out-of-pocket costs. The mobile platform was developed by HealthCrowd, a technology company that designs mobile platforms to increase patient engagement.
To use the system, individuals can text the world “HEALTH” to the number (504) 383-7580. After a series of prompts to determine eligibility, users who qualify will be given the number of the nearest GNOCHC health center, with reminders to visit.
The texting platform will be available through the end of the year.