Wheels Up: Getting the Word Out to #GetCovered by December 15th

December 13, 2016

By: Nicholas Garlow, Digital Media Advisor, HHS

Tis the season…to get covered. If you don’t believe me, just ask Shaq. Or DJ Khaled. Or Bill Murray and the President. In the last week, they all have talked about HealthCare.gov Open Enrollment and encouraged people to sign up. The reason? We’re just two days away from the December 15th deadline to sign up for 2017 health coverage starting January 1st (start here: HealthCare.gov).

And as we’ve done in years past, we’re pulling out all the stops to make sure we help people know about their options and sign up for affordable health coverage by December 15th. Millions have already signed up for 2017 coverage. We want as many people as possible to start the New Year with new coverage — to have the security and peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re covered.

Here at HHS, we’re picking up the phone, hitting send on tweets and Facebook posts, and barnstorming to get the word out about the December 15th deadline. Today, Secretary Burwell is hitting the road to talk to consumers about why #CoverageMatters to them (share your story) and help out enrollment efforts first-hand. She will hit four cities in the next two days, starting this morning in Tampa, Florida. You can follow updates on her deadline travels here on Medium.

Looking for a way to get involved this week? Here are some ideas:

· Not covered yet? What are you waiting for?! Visit HealthCare.gov today!

· Share your health care story using #CoverageMatters on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

· Make sure your friends know to sign up by December 15th. Share videos from Bill Murray or some of the many young people who’ve signed up.

Come back here for updates on the Secretary’s December 15th deadline travel, and share your own updates using #GetCovered.

Tampa, Florida (12/13/2016)

Secretary Burwell touched down in sunny Tampa on Tuesday morning, where she started her day meeting the owner and employees of Credit Xpress Auto Sales. Credit Xpress’s four full-time staff members have enrolled for 2017 coverage through HealthCare.gov.

The Secretary heard from owner Juan Hernandez and his associate, Mayra Garcia, who described how they had learned that a customer, Maria Jiminez, worked as a Marketplace navigator helping people enroll for coverage. Juan asked her to drop by the dealership to help him and his employees check out their options on the Marketplace and enroll. Maria visited the dealership and worked one-on-one with Juan and his staff to get coverage for everyone. Mayra told Secretary Burwell the team is grateful that Maria was bilingual and able to come to their workplace to assist the mechanics in Spanish.

Mayra joined the Secretary in brief remarks to local press to highlight the December 15th deadline for coverage that starts January 1st as well as the personal assistance that is available to help people shop on the Marketplace and find coverage that meets their needs and budget.

You, too, can get 24/7 help comparing plans and enrolling in coverage by calling 1–800–318–2596 or finding in-person assistance in your community at LocalHelp.HealthCare.gov.

Secretary Burwell (right), U.S. Representative Kathy Castor (middle) and Mayra Garcia (left) talk to local press in Tampa.

The Secretary then departed for Orlando.

Orlando, Florida (12/13/2016)

On her way to Orlando, Secretary Burwell tweeted some great news about HealthCare.gov activity. Retweet to share the news!

In Orlando, she visited the Washington Park Library, a local enrollment site that helps local residents enroll in affordable health coverage. She thanked navigators for their work helping people sign up and met with local individuals to hear their personal stories. The Secretary later met with the Orlando Sentinel Editorial Board to talk about how approximately 90 percent of the 1.5 million Florida consumers who currently have coverage through HealthCare.gov receive financial assistance to pay for premiums; nearly 80% of Floridians can get covered for less than $75 a month after tax credits.

Secretary Burwell visits the Washington Park Library in Orlando.

Secretary Burwell departed Orlando to head north for wintry New York. On Wednesday, she’ll spend the day in the Big Apple and New Jersey. Keep following along!

New York, New York (12/14/2016)

Secretary Burwell kicked off day #2 in New York City. She stopped by Rockefeller Center for a live interview on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. She talked with Joe and Mika about the benefits the Affordable Care Act has provided for millions of Americans. Watch a short clip. And watch the full video here.

Just yesterday, we released new data that illustrate the substantial improvements in health care for Americans in the last six years, no matter where you get your insurance. Millions of Americans have gained coverage thanks to the Affordable Care Act, and millions are receiving higher quality care thanks to the law.

Read more about how the ACA has made a positive impact over the last six years. Here are just a few takeaways:

· ACA prohibits annual and lifetime limits on policies, so all Americans, including those with employer plans, now have coverage that’s there when they need it.

· Thanks in large part to Medicaid expansion, 15.7 million more people have Medicaid coverage today than before the ACA’s major coverage provisions took effect.

· Up to 129 million Americans with a pre-existing health condition can no longer be discriminated against by insurers based on their medical history.

Before hitting the road for New Jersey, Secretary Burwell stopped in at the Evergreen Diner for breakfast. And yes, even at breakfast the conversation is about health care. Order up!

Newark, New Jersey (12/14/2016)

Cabinet Secretary ✓ Senator Cory Booker ✓ #CoverageMatters stories ✓

On her final stop, Secretary Burwell joined New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, U.S. Representative Donald Payne, Jr. and local residents for coffee at local landmark Tops Diner in East Newark. The Secretary, Senator and U.S. Rep heard from residents like Chiara D’Agostino, whose Medicaid coverage is making it possible for her to continue her fight against breast cancer. She says her coverage is keeping her alive. They also spoke with David Moyer, who has found affordable coverage through the Marketplace for his family two years in a row. Thanks to the law, millions like them can no longer be locked out of coverage for their pre-existing conditions.

Following coffee and conversation, Secretary Burwell sat down with CNN to talk about the impact that the Affordable Care Act is having for millions of Americans and tomorrow’s quickly approaching December 15th deadline.

Did you know? More than 4 out of every 5 New Jerseyans qualified for tax credits to make their coverage more affordable in 2016. And this year, the majority of Americans will again be able to find a plan for less than $75/month. In a few clicks, you can see your options on HealthCare.gov and sign up. It’s that easy.

Keep following Secretary Burwell on Twitter @SecBurwell for updates.