The Affordable Care Act of 2010 created the Health Insurance Marketplace and the opportunity to increase access to healthcare for millions of people. Shortly after that, the San Antonio community came together to create a coalition called EnrollSA focused on maximizing enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace. The work of enrollment began with the first Open Enrollment Period (OEP1) in 2013 and will continue as long as individuals require in-person assistance and education related to health insurance. EnrollSA is hard at work at the moment, as the Marketplace is in its final month of the most recent Open Enrollment Period: the deadline to enroll for healthcare through the ACA is January 31st.
SA2020 and EnrollSA have been working together, along with many other partners, to increase access to healthcare and preventative services, because people who have health insurance coverage are more likely to seek regular health check-ups and screenings for chronic illness. These actions can lead to early detection of chronic health conditions and a lifetime person wellness.
With the help of SA2020, EnrollSA has facilitated the enrollment of more than 121,000 people in the greater San Antonio area as of 2014. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has outlined a 5-year implementation plan for the Affordable Care Act, and this short time frame has encouraged a sense of urgency to disseminate education and information to the community. Together, EnrollSA and SA2020 have connected coalition partners with community stakeholders to extend their reach and increase collective impact.
A Bexar County resident receives health care enrollment assistance from an EnrollSA coalition member.
By connecting these partners to explain the somewhat daunting health care process to community members, we’ve made great progress on reaching the SA2020 goal of getting 83% of our community enrolled in health care. When more community members have access to health care, things improve for all of us. Those with health care coverage increase their their chances of living a longer life, see lower costs of doctor’s visits and prescriptions, and protect their children’s health, making those students more likely to perform well in school. By committing ourselves to an attitude of “health care for all”, we can increase opportunity, growth, and vitality for our entire city and county.
If you, your family, or anyone you know isn’t currently enrolled in health care, we encourage them to visit the EnrollSA website to learn more before the end of January. There are so many organizations who are ready to help even more people get enrolled and make San Antonio a healthier and more vibrant place to live.