The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Kaiser Family Foundation are convening marketplace enrollment assisters and key stakeholders across the country this month to discuss the upcoming fifth annual Marketplace open enrollment.
The purpose of the convening is to allow stakeholders the opportunity to brainstorm and share best practices to prepare for what promises to be a challenging and shortened open enrollment period (Nov. 1st – Dec. 31st). Having been invited to attend, it is my hope to walk away with shared purpose, goals, and ideas on how we can make this open enrollment as successful as possible.
In this ever changing healthcare landscape, it is necessary that philanthropy and health systems collaborate to change the destructive narrative perpetuated by a hostile Administration, identify tools and materials to support assisters in the coming open enrollment, and think strategically about sustaining assisters work in the future.
Made more difficult was this week’s announcement by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) of a drastic 90% cut in funding for outreach and community education funding tied to the Marketplace. Leaving CMS with the important task of raising awareness of marketplace enrollment with only $10 million nationwide, as compared to nearly $64 million spent during the prior enrollment period. The continued campaign to undermine the Marketplace by the Administration is only ensuring that Americans do not get access to life saving and affordable insurance.
Amidst Federal cuts and dwindling resources, we must ensure assisters nationwide have the necessary tools to make sure they can get the job done, so that every American has the opportunity to access affordable healthcare.