Councilmembers Helen Gym, Derek Green, and Cindy Bass announce City efforts to increase enrollment of Philadelphians in Affordable Care Act coverage
PHILADELPHIA—Today, City Councilmembers Helen Gym (At Large), Derek Green (At Large), and Cindy Bass (8th District), along with the Pennsylvania Health Access Network, announced a coordinated push by City Council and the City to increase the enrollment of Philadelphians in Affordable Care Act coverage in the final days before the December 15 deadline.
The offices of Councilmembers Helen Gym, Derek Green, and Cindy Bass will host phone banks in City Hall on December 1 and December 5 to get the word out about open enrollment and make sure every Philadelphian who needs benefits gets covered, and Philly311 will help connect people with trained enrollment navigators who can provide support through the benefits process.
The Affordable Care Act has provided health insurance to nearly 20 million people since passing in 2010. This year, the Trump administration dramatically shortened the open enrollment period and slashed funding for enrollment outreach.
“Thousands mobilized in the face of shameful GOP attacks on the Affordable Care Act this year to center healthcare as a human right and save the ACA, and today it remains the law of the land because of local power,” said Councilmember Helen Gym (At Large). “All politics is local, and these coordinated city efforts will ensure that every Philadelphian who needs health insurance has access to that right. With just two weeks until the enrollment deadline, we’re asking everyone to donate time at our phone banks to invest in this lifesaving program.”
“It’s unfortunate that we, as Americans, are essentially being told that affordable healthcare is a luxury for some, rather than a necessity for all,” said Councilmember Derek Green (At Large). “The Trump administration has done everything in its power to perpetuate that notion – given the abnormally tight time constraints we now are forced to work with, to ensure everyone gets coverage by December 15. We must do everything in our power to fight this inconceivable injustice.”
“The Affordable Care Act has brought healthcare to millions of Pennsylvanians and hundreds of thousands of Philadelphians in just a few short years,” said Councilmember Cindy Bass (8th District). “This year, the ACA enrollment period is much shorter, and as we work to battle an administration trying to dismantle the act by taking healthcare away from our most vulnerable populations and weakening access to contraceptives, I encourage all residents to enroll in the ACA to ensure the health and safety of their families, and to protect the universal right to good healthcare. I’d like to thank Councilwoman Helen Gym for her continued work on this issue.”
“Open enrollment ends in just over two weeks on December 15, and with the reduced advertising and outreach budget, we’ve been working hard to make sure everyone who needs to purchase insurance gets the message to get enrolled for 2018 and to take time to review all available plans,” said Antoinette Kraus, Executive Director of Pennsylvania Health Access Network. “Many individuals and families that we’ve worked with this year have actually gotten better and more affordable plans than in previous years, thanks to increased financial assistance for certain plans. It is essential that folks who have questions or simply want to review their options reach out to a navigator immediately before they run out of time. We’re ready and willing to help.”
You can sign up to volunteer at the phone bank by emailing Shanee.Garner@phila.gov or calling 215-686-3420. Those needing assistance with signing up for benefits can call 311 to be connected with a trained navigator.
Watch the press conference.
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