An official from the White House traveled to Newark’s North Ward to encourage residents to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
Bess Evans, the associate director of Public Engagement for the White House, told more than 100 residents attending an enrollment event at the Vince Lombardi Center to spread the word to their families, friends and neighbors that they have until Feb. 15 to enroll in the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) Health Insurance Marketplace.
At the Jan. 22 event, sponsored by Councilman Anibal Ramos Jr., more than 75 families – aided by bilingual navigators – signed up for health insurance on the spot.
White House Associate Director of Public Engagement Bess Evans (third from left) traveled to Newark to encourage residents to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. From left to right, Councilman-at-large Luis Quintana, Lydia Valencia of the Puerto Rican Congress, Councilman Anibal Ramos Jr., Dennis E. González, executive officer for the Office of the Secretary for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Region II flank a health navigator.
“We are so pleased to have been joined by the delegation from the White House to remind us of this critical service, and urge everyone who is in need of coverage to explore the Healthcare Marketplace before the February 15th deadline,” Ramos said.
“It is our collective responsibility to ensure the health and wellbeing of our community, and all Newark residents have a tremendous opportunity to get covered with quality, affordable healthcare,” Ramos said.
Ramos noted that Latinos represent 20 percent of the population in New Jersey, yet account for one-third of the state’s uninsured residents – more than any other racial or ethic group.
In the first year, Latinos only accounted for 7 percent of those who signed up for healthcare under the ACA, Ramos said. “We must do better.”
With more options available and easier enrollment processes, residents can join the more than 210,000 New Jerseyans who have already enrolled in coverage. New Jersey consumers can choose from an average of 45 health plans – up from 26 last year. For most residents the cost is less than $100 a month.
“We’re here in communities like the North Ward so that families can meet face to face with a representative who speaks their language, to help them understand the benefits of getting coverage today,” said Dennis Gonzalez, Executive Officer for the US Department of Health and Human Services Region II.
“With more plans and more options than before, most people would be surprised at how easy it is to find the coverage that will protect them as well as their wallets,” Gonzalez said.
The event was co-sponsored by the City of Newark, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Puerto Rican Congress, Aspira New Jersey, La Casa de Don Pedro, Focus and The North Ward Center.
Residents who are interested in enrolling can do so in one of three ways:
1. Enroll online at HealthCare.gov
2. Call the 24/7 call center: 1-800-318-2596 (TTY 1-855-889-4325) there are 14,000 call center representatives ready to answer questions and help people get the coverage they need. Translation services are available and the call is free.
3. Find in-person assistance in your own community by visiting localhelp.healthcare.gov