How are Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota (PPMNS) patients engaging with the Affordable Care Act? Last week, Congressman Keith Ellison dropped by the PPMNS health center in Uptown Minneapolis to talk about just that.
PPMNS is one of dozens of outreach groups in Minnesota doing extensive work implementing the Affordable Care Act (ACA). For PPMNS, that means educating patients and the general public on what the ACA means for them and helping uninsured people get enrolled via MNsure, Minnesota’s health insurance exchange.
Calling it a “big project” is an understatement, especially with nearly 500,000 Minnesotans in need of health insurance. Alongside the ACA’s impact on the uninsured, the ACA expands women’s access to preventive care, something extra close to the collective Planned Parenthood heart. Congressman Ellison chatted with health care providers, call center agents, phone bank volunteers, and Planned Parenthood’s MNsure certified Navigators to hear stories about patients and others who are in the process of becoming insured under the ACA with PPMNS’ help.
- Since September, PPMNS phone bank volunteers have had more than 5,000 conversations with likely uninsured young women across the state to ask them if they know about Obamacare.
- PPMNS’ Navigators are busy conducting health insurance enrollment events all over the state (see upcoming dates/locations on the PPMNS site), and are also setting up enrollment days at the 18 Planned Parenthood health centers across our region.
- The PPMNS phone bank volunteers receive an overwhelmingly positive response from the young women they connect with. Many of the people on the other end of the line ask to talk with a Navigator in order to begin the enrollment process. (Just another hole in the myth of the “young invincible.”)
- One self-employed woman in her 50s who’s been without insurance coverage for 5 years told PPMNS she will finally be able to get the preventive care she needs to stay healthy.
- A young couple who are not eligible for their employer’s health insurance plan told PPMNS that they’ll finally be able to get coverage for themselves—and their four children.
- A couple in early retirement who are not yet eligible for Social Security benefits celebrated being able to get affordable health care under the new law.
In addition to the feel good stories, a PPMNS volunteer shared one of the best Obamacare myths she’d heard so far: that signing up for health insurance under the law means you’ll get a government microchip implanted in you. So while thousands of conversations and dozens of enrollment days is no small feat, there is still a lot of work to be done when it comes to teaching Minnesotans about the ACA.
- Planned Parenthood: Understanding Obamacare and Ask a Navigator
- Slate: 10 questions about Obamacare you were too embarrassed to ask
- Bangor Dailly News: Little-known facts about the Affordable Care Act
- PolicyMic: How Obamacare is revolutionizing health care for American women
And, for your pleasure, a mythbusting triple-whammy:
- MSNBC:Obamacare horror stories aren’t so horrible
- Los Angeles Times:Another Obamacare horror story debunked
- Think Progress:The cancer patient from the Wall Street Journal will likely save thousands under Obamacare
HOLLY HARRISON, WEB EDITOR AND SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR