News Release

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Diane E. Brown,
Arizona PIRG

Groups Launch “Cover Arizona Week” Targeting Uninsured Statewide

For Immediate Release

This week, Cover Arizona, a coalition of organizations dedicated to the health and well-being of Arizonans, will host more than 50 community events statewide to provide opportunities for the uninsured to “Get Covered.” The week will culminate in a growing list of events slated for Saturday, March 1st throughout the state as part of Cover Arizona’s Day of Action.

In conjunction with nonprofit entities across the state, there will be enrollment and information fairs in Maricopa, Pima, Yuma and Coconino counties, where people can begin shopping for a health care plan and/or pick up where they left off if they have not completed the process.  Representatives from Cover Arizona will be on hand to provide free, professional enrollment assistance to anyone who needs help.

“The Cover Arizona Coalition’s 600+ members are dedicated to taking enrollment assistance and enrollment event opportunities to a new level -- and it all starts on March 1 with our Day of Action,” said Kim Van Pelt of St. Luke’s Health Initiatives, a coordinating partner of the coalition.

Arizona has some of the lowest Marketplace rates in the nation, enabling consumers to get more value for their money. Additionally, recent enrollment data found most Arizonans (72%) qualified for some type of financial assistance to bring down the cost of their monthly premiums. Still others may benefit from Medicaid expansion through the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) depending on income and family size.

There is a particular sense of urgency in reaching out to Arizonans now, as the deadline to get covered is only a month away. Open enrollment ends on March 31st, 2014.

This week’s events are targeted at reaching three types of Arizona individuals and families:

1.       The uninsured or the underinsured who have not explored their options, either in the Health Insurance Marketplace or through AHCCCS, which was expanded to include childless adults and others as of January 1st of this year.

2.       People who have purchased in the Marketplace, but whose plan does not include providers that are within a reasonable distance. These individuals will be able to sit down with a qualified, professionally trained assister who can help them address concerns and answer questions that will help them change to a new plan.

3.       Individuals who are bouncing between one health care enrollment system and the other without an eligibility determination – There are an unknown number of Arizona consumers who are looping between the Health Insurance Marketplace and AHCCCS and are not yet covered. Assistance is available to help these consumers get these issues resolved and enrolled in a health plan as soon as possible.

“We are expanding our grassroots efforts to reach out to the community to continue to connect them to these enrollment resources throughout the month of March,” said Cheryl O’Donnell, Arizona state director for Enroll America. “We have made major headway in the number of people who now have health coverage, but we have work to do as we approach the end of open enrollment – and deliver the message that financial assistance makes coverage affordable.”

“From athletes shooting for the Final Four to those who prefer watching movies, young adults on and off the court need to know their health insurance options and rights,” stated Diane E. Brown, executive director of the Arizona PIRG Education Fund. “So You Need Health Insurance. Now What? provides tips to coverage that won’t bench young adults financially.”

Since open enrollment of the Health Insurance Marketplace began just five months ago, more than 150,000 people in Arizona now have peace of mind that they are covered in the event of a medical emergency or any health issues that may arise, even if they require ongoing treatment.

While there are new events being added to the list throughout the week, larger venues on Saturday, March 1st include:

Glendale Community College, Glendale

6000 W. Olive Ave., High Tech Center

9:00 am – 4:30 pm

 

Mesa High School, Mesa

1630 E. Southern Ave, Building 800

9:00 am – 4:30 pm

 

Tucson Urban League, Tucson

2305 S. Park Ave

9:00 am – 2:00 pm

North Country Health Care Learning Center, Flagstaff

2920 N. 4th St.

9:00 am – 3:00 pm

 

An updated list of all events is available online at http://coveraz.org/day-of-action/

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