The open enrollment period for health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act has been shortened from three months to six weeks and the advertising budget prompting people to enroll has been slashed by 90 percent.
New Hampshire nonprofits are working hard to get the word out so that people know coverage is available and can enroll before the December 15 deadline.
The Foundation has made a $50,000 grant to help in that effort.
The New Hampshire Health Care Coalition is trying to fill the gap with a coordinated effort to make sure people are aware that coverage is available, how to enroll, and the December 15 deadline to apply. The Coalition, led by the Granite State Progress Education Fund, is spreading the word through media, events and direct mailing to targeted audiences based on populations and places in the state where need is the greatest.
New Hampshire’s uninsured rate dipped to six percent in 2016 from 11 percent in 2013, as people gained coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Some 53,000 Granite Staters enrolled for coverage under the ACA last year.
The expansion of the state’s Medicaid program under the ACA meant that thousands gained access to insurance, including coverage for addiction services — a critical tool in fighting the state’s opioid epidemic.
“The Foundation supported the advocacy efforts to expand Medicaid and to ensure that public and private insurance provided equitable coverage for substance use and mental health disorders,” said Tym Rourke, Foundation director of substance use disorders grant-making. “And we want to make sure that people continue to be covered. This is fundamental to our focus on health and well-being for New Hampshire, and the current addiction crisis makes it even more critical that New Hampshire families can get the health care they need and deserve.”
The Charitable Foundation joins the HNH Foundation in supporting these efforts.