NEW ORLEANS ACCEPTS WHITE HOUSE HEALTHY COMMUNITIES CHALLENGE

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Office of the Mayor Press Releases & Media Advisories

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

12/8/2015


Contact: Hayne Rainey
communications@nola.gov
504-658-4945

NEW ORLEANS ACCEPTS WHITE HOUSE HEALTHY COMMUNITIES CHALLENGE

To Encourage Residents to Enroll in Health Insurance Coverage

through the Affordable Care Act Marketplace


NEW ORLEANS – Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced today that the City of New Orleans accepted the White House’s Healthy Communities Challenge as part of a national effort to promote enrollment in insurance through the Affordable Care Act Health Insurance Marketplace (the Marketplace). Throughout the rest of the Marketplace open enrollment period, which ends on January 31, 2016, the New Orleans Health Department along with several local, state and federal partners will actively engage uninsured New Orleans residents to use the Marketplace to directly compare and purchase private health insurance options, often for lower costs.


“New Orleans has made great strides in getting residents connected to affordable health coverage since the start of the Affordable Care Act in 2013, but our work isn’t finished yet,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “There are thousands in our great city who are still uninsured. I’m proud to accept the White House’s Healthy Communities Challenge and I look forward to taking this critical step toward building a healthier New Orleans together as a community.”


As part of this initiative, Mayor Landrieu is challenging barbers and hairstylists across the city to talk with their customers about health insurance and help connect them to free, in-person enrollment assistance. Every participating business will receive a proclamation in recognition of their efforts, and the barbershop or salon that refers the most people to enrollment assisters will receive a visit from Mayor Landrieu in celebration of the achievement. To join the challenge, barbers and hairstylists can attend special information sessions on:


Monday, December 14 
1:30 pm – 3:30 pm
City Hall Suite 8E10, 1300 Perdido St.


Wednesday, December 16
5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Location TBD


Thursday, December 17
5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Refresh Project, 300 N. Broad St., Suite 208


 

To sign up for an information session and to learn more about the challenge, contact the Health Department at healthdepartment@nola.gov or (504) 658-2511.


Additionally, the City will host a Citywide Day of Enrollment on January 16, 2016 to educate and enroll as many individuals as possible in the Marketplace. Residents will have the opportunity to attend enrollment events at convenient sites throughout the city and get help from trained Marketplace enrollment assisters to shop around for the best healthcare plan to meet their needs.


The Health Department along with healthcare partners will host many other Marketplace enrollment events, which will take place throughout the open enrollment period. The public is invited to visit nola.gov/marketplace for a full list of events where individuals can learn more about affordable health coverage options from staff members across the city who are specially trained in enrollment assistance.


“The Marketplace is an easy and affordable way to get covered,” said Charlotte Parent, Director of the New Orleans Health Department. “I’m confident that with the help of our healthcare partners, we can rise to the challenge to get our residents to visit the Marketplace to get help with enrolling in coverage for emergency services, prescription drugs, even preventive care like screenings, immunizations and wellness visits.”


“LCMC Health is excited to sponsor the barbershop and salon challenge in partnership with the New Orleans Health Department,” said Greg Feirn, CEO of LCMC Health, the parent healthcare system comprised of Children’s Hospital New Orleans, Touro, University Medical Center New Orleans, New Orleans East Hospital and West Jefferson Medical Center. “Working with our community’s local barbershops and salons, we want to help open the door to healthcare coverage for the uninsured in our community who are still unaware of the financial assistance available to them through the Marketplace.”


Susan Todd, Executive Director of 504HealthNet, said, “The Healthy Communities Challenge is an excellent way to raise awareness about the health insurance marketplace and the importance of being covered. We are thrilled to be a part of this exciting challenge and want to get as many people enrolled as possible.”

“The Navigators for a Healthy Louisiana program is excited about the Mayor’s Healthy Communities Challenge and we are here to assist any consumer with preparing their application, establishing their eligibility, and enrolling in coverage through the Marketplace,” said Brian Burton, State Director for Navigators for a Healthy Louisiana.


The purpose of the White House Healthy Communities Challenge is to target 20 key communities with high percentages of uninsured residents in states across the country where strong federal, state and community collaboration can have a meaningful impact on reaching the uninsured.


Marjorie McColl Petty, Region 6 Director for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said, “I am excited about the Healthy Communities Challenge in the Greater New Orleans area. I am impressed with the strength that the New Orleans community showed in previous open enrollment periods. It will be exciting to see the impact of the Healthy Communities Challenge across the country.”


To date, over 20,000 New Orleans residents have already enrolled in health insurance through the Marketplace, with 84 percent of enrollees receiving financial assistance to lower the cost of insurance. According to a recent NY Times report, the uninsured rate in New Orleans is down to 15% from 24% in 2013. Still, an estimated 21,000 uninsured potential Marketplace enrollees reside in New Orleans. 


The community with the most new enrollees at the end of the open enrollment period will receive a visit from President Barack Obama.


The nineteen other cities participating in the challenge include Atlanta, GA; Milwaukee, WI; Charlotte, NC; Nashville, TN; Chicago, IL; New Orleans, LA; Dallas, TX; Oakland, CA; Denver, CO; Philadelphia, PA; Detroit, MI; Phoenix, AZ; Great Falls, MT; Richmond, VA; Kansas City, MO; Salt Lake City, UT; Las Vegas, NV; Seattle, WA; Long Beach, CA; and Tampa, FL.


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