CSBG DCL Affordable Care Act Update

Publication Date: December 31, 2015

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Administration for Children and Families
Office of Community Services
Division of State Assistance
370 L'Enfant Promenade, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20447


Community Services Block Grant
Dear Colleague Letter

Re: Affordable Care Act Update

Date: December 31, 2015

Dear Colleagues,

The Office of Community Services (OCS) thanks the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Network for your work in helping scores of low-income individuals and families enroll in health care insurance via the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  In just the second week of the open enrollment period for 2015-2016, 1 million new consumers selected health plans, ensuring access to affordable, high-quality coverage.  This letter provides some key messages that you may use as the CSBG Network continues to encourage enrollment during the open period, which ends January 31, 2016.

Key Messages for ACA Enrollment

  • Consumers can apply online at HealthCare.gov Visit disclaimer page , by phone, by mail, or in-person with the help of a trained assister or navigator.  We have attached a small flyer to this letter that provides basic contact information for your immediate use.
  • Financial help is available.  About 8 out of 10 people who enroll in health coverage through HealthCare.gov qualify for financial help to make their monthly premiums more affordable.  Most people can find plans with premiums for less than $75 a month after tax credits.
  • It pays to shop.  More than 8 in 10 returning Marketplace consumers could save an average of about $50 per month and $610 annually in premiums before tax credits for the same level of coverage by returning to shop.
  • The deadline to enroll for 2016 is January 31, 2016.  People can sign up for coverage through January 31 with a coverage start date effective March 1, 2016.

New ASPE Research Brief on ACA Enrollment Released

In addition, OCS is pleased to announce that the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) has released an intramural research brief, “Community Action Agency Activities in Affordable Care Act Outreach and Enrollment: Insights from Case Studies.”  The brief can be found here Visit disclaimer page .

This research brief presents the results of an exploratory, qualitative review of six community action agencies (CAAs) in Maryland, Kentucky, New Jersey, Wisconsin, Michigan and Maine.  The brief examines the work of the CAAs to identify and reach local uninsured individuals and help them enroll in health insurance.  The brief describes the variety of approaches that CAAs are using to reach and enroll underserved groups. It also highlights the diversity and creativity of CAAs in providing service to underserved populations that may be useful to a range of human services stakeholders.

Further, the brief demonstrates how ACA goals mesh with CAA programmatic objectives to  help uninsured Americans seeking health care.  We hope that you find the brief beneficial and informative.

With your commitment, we continue to help uninsured Americans obtain the health insurance coverage they need, and demonstrate the positive impact of partnerships between the health and human services sectors.


Jeannie L. Chaffin                                                                             Seth Hassett
Director                                                                                             Director, Division of State Assistance
Office of Community Services                                                           Office of Community Services

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