Navigators from MDC and other nonprofit organizations are conducting outreach throughout local communities and helping North Carolinians directly enroll in the new health insurance options available under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). MDC’s Navigators were first funded by a competitive federal grant awarded to MDC and a statewide coalition of nonprofit partners in August 2013—the fourth largest of 105 such grants awarded in the country. Since that time, the consortium was funded for the federal fiscal year 2014-15 and recently received funding that will take the project into 2018, contingent upon available funds and performance.
The current grant funding enables MDC to deploy Navigators serving predominantly the Triangle (Orange, Durham, and Wake counties). MDC is also collaborating with Navigators from partner nonprofit organizations, and with similar Outreach and Enrollment Specialists hosted by Federally-Qualified Health Centers, to plan and conduct outreach and enrollment events across North Carolina serving special populations.
Navigators from MDC offer services to individuals and communities, including:
- Scheduling appointments for people who need one-on-one assistance to learn about and possibly enroll in ACA health insurance (appointments made by calling 855.733.3711)
- Conducting one-on-one enrollment sessions in space sponsored by community-based organizations or community colleges
- Utilizing various forms of marketing and social media to broadcast information and services (Facebook, Twitter, email blasts)
- MDC’s Navigators are federally certified and are deployed to help individuals and communities with ACA health insurance outreach and enrollment
- MDC’s Navigators are strengthening relationships with local nonprofit partners to provide services to the public at trusted locations
- MDC and its nonprofit partner organizations established a statewide toll-free number for North Carolinians to call for scheduling appointments for in-person assistance (855.733.3711) as well as a website for online appointment scheduling, www.nchealthconnect.org
- Navigators from MDC are conducting outreach events, publicizing information, and providing one-on-one assistance with education and enrollment
Impact of the Affordable Care Act in North Carolina:
Newly available data from the federal government show that North Carolina continues to lead enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace or healthcare.gov – a key pillar of the Affordable Care Act. Statewide plan selections increased a total of 9.5 percent from the prior year’s Open Enrollment Period. Of particular note, is the substantial growth rate in enrollment in the northeast from a set of rural counties that continuously fall into the state’s economically distressed tier. More than 8 in 10 individuals who selected a plan qualified for a tax credit, with an average value of $290 per person per month. See the maps below for a snapshot of the success of outreach and enrollment efforts in North Carolina.