United African Organization

Health Care Coverage Enrollment Off to a Strong Start

February 5, 2014NancyBlog

UAO’s Health Care Coverage Enrollment Program is off and running. In the month of January, UAO succeeded in signing up over sixty individuals for health care coverage.

UAO Program Coordinator Nancy Asirifi-Otchere signs up a client for coverage

UAO staff member Lauren Herzog is the coordinator for the Health Care Coverage Enrollment Program. Over the past few months, she has worked to increase awareness in the African community about the new health care law and also planned free health care enrollment events around Chicago.

The January 23rd event, which took place at Gold Coast Taxi’s offices in Uptown, enrolled over thirty Ghanaian taxi drivers and their families in health care coverage. The workshop was such a success that Gold Coast Taxi and Herzog collaborated on a second enrollment event in February.

Participants at UAO’s enrollment events are guided through the health care coverage application process by an In-Person Counselor (IPC). IPCs undergo rigorous state and federal training and are experts on the new health care law. “IPCs are fully trained to understand the Medicaid system and the Affordable Care Act. If you have any questions, they can answer them. That way you end up with a plan you fully understand,” Herzog said.

Lauren Herzog assists a client

Although enrollment numbers have been strong thus far, they are expected to increase as the March 31st deadline for health care coverage draws nearer. Herzog anticipates future backlogs in the system—especially if you are applying for Medicaid—and encourages all those planning on attending an enrollment event to do so soon. “At this point, most people think March 31st is way off. However, that deadline is much closer than it might seem,” Herzog said.

UAO will hold more enrollment events in the month of March. Please visit our website for more detailed information. Participants need to bring with them photo identification, a social security card, income information and immigration information. The enrollment events are free and open to the public.

by Max Woxland, UAO Intern


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