< Back to Search

LIHEAP Dear Colleague on Affordable Care Act (ACA) Outreach and Enrollment

Published: November 10, 2014
Audience:
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
Category:
Guidance, Policies, Procedures, Dear Colleague Notices

Dear LIHEAP Grantees,

As a follow-up to the webinar on November 12, 2014 on the “Affordable Care Act Open Enrollment”, please see some additional information about the Marketplace at: Marketplace.cms.gov.  The CMS web site have information on assisters programs and tools to help existing and new Health Insurance Marketplace consumers.  You can find trainings with talking points, brochures, fact sheets, language support, DIY outreach and education toolkits, and many other important resources. 

Also, attached is the contact list for the ACF Regional Administrators.

Thanks.

 

Dear CSBG and LIHEAP Colleagues:

Administration for Children and Families’ (ACF) programs can play a vital role in furthering Affordable Care Act (ACA) outreach and enrollment, as ACF reaches many of the populations most in need of coverage.  The Affordable Care Act (ACA) open enrollment period takes place November 15, 2014 – February 15, 2015.  We appreciate all that you accomplished in year one to reach out to CSBG/LIHEAP constituents; however, more work remains. 

As we approach year two, we know that millions of Americans remain uninsured.  A recent Kaiser poll found that 89% of the uninsured did not know of the upcoming open enrollment period.  Many of these uninsured are served by CSBG/LIHEAP and it is critical that we work strategically to reach these constituencies and provide them with the tools they need to obtain affordable health care coverage. 

The Office of Community Services is facilitating a conference call on Wednesday, November 12 from 3:00-4:00 ET. We ask that you join by calling in to the following conference line: 1-888-390-0976; enter passcode 7591956.

Panelists will include:

  • Jeannie Chaffin, Director, Office of Community Services, Administration for Children and Families (ACF), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
  • Marrianne McMullen, Deputy Assistant Secretary for External Affairs, ACF, HHS
  • Stefanie Costello, Health Insurance Specialist, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, HHS
  • Amber Hansen, Executive Director, Community Action of Nebraska (CAN)

Here are a few suggestions for how you can contribute to the ACA outreach effort:

  1. State grantees can help local agencies be informed about health insurance opportunities.

Work with state Medicaid agencies and the Health Insurance Marketplace to get current, reliable information for sub-recipients to distribute to families on health coverage eligibility and application.  Share a directory of ACA Navigators or other in-person assisters.  As reference, Navigators are those organizations that have received state or federal funding to assist with outreach and enrollment. In addition to Navigators, Health Insurance Marketplaces make other resources available to help individuals access Marketplace coverage, including certified application counselors, non-navigator assistance personnel (also known as in-person assisters), and agents and brokers.  Please see a description of each of these roles at the end of this letter.  Individuals in federally-facilitated and state partnership Marketplaces can visit Find Local Help to locate assistance in their area.

  1. Offer information about health insurance opportunities in local agencies.

Incorporate ACA resources into intake processes – be it online, as a mailing, in person or over the phone.  Ensure every intake worker has the contact information for the local Navigator or in-person assister.  Display materials from HealthCare.gov explaining the basics of coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. 

  1. Partner with community organizations to provide outreach to families. 

Agencies can add a question to intake applications asking about health coverage status, which will allow local organizations to refer individuals as needed.  Agencies can disseminate information about the ACA through email blasts, newsletters, and social media.  Agencies can connect families to community health centers, the Health Insurance Marketplace and in-person assisters, or even arrange for in-person assisters to visit local program offices.

We are asking all State LIHEAP and CSBG administrators to please share this message—and the information and resources on the attached document—with your local agency networks.  Thank you for your ongoing commitment to help improve the health and financial security outcomes of our customers.

Jeannie L. Chaffin
Director
Office of Community Services

Last Reviewed: July 31, 2018