Sept. 8, 2014: NJHA’s Health Insurance Counselors Help Laid-off Casino Workers Sign Up for Coverage
PRINCETON – The New Jersey Hospital Association’s Certified Application Counselors (CACs) are in hard-hit Atlantic City helping laid-off casino employees sign up for healthcare coverage through the Affordable Care Act.
The Showboat and Revel casinos closed early this month, leaving more than 4,000 employees without work. When the Trump Plaza closes Sept. 16, that number will jump to over 6,000.
NJHA’s CACs, as well as navigators from other organizations, will be available to assist individuals through the healthcare insurance application process Sept. 8-10 at the Atlantic City Convention Center and Sept. 17-19 at Boardwalk Hall. NJHA member AtlantiCare has also mobilized navigators and other patient access staff to assist casino workers.
NJHA’s program employs former U.S. veterans, provides training and helps them achieve federal certification to guide consumers through the insurance application process under the ACA. Twenty-five CACs have been deployed to hospitals and community locations across the state on their new mission of assisting the uninsured. The CAC program is funded by a $1.8 million grant from New Jersey Health Initiatives, a local funding arm of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Since the program’s launch in November 2013, NJHA’s application counselors have connected with more than 18,000 consumers and have helped about 4,000 individuals and families complete the application process for coverage under the federal Health Insurance Marketplace or NJ FamilyCare.
The CACs’ sites also include several southern New Jersey locations surrounding Atlantic City. Visit NJHA’s Healthcare Reform Resource Center at www.njha.com/reform/application-help/ for enrollment information including a full schedule of the CACs’ events.
While the next open enrollment period for ACA coverage doesn’t begin until Nov. 15, the law allows those who have experienced a qualifying “life event” – such as losing job-based health insurance – to sign up outside of open enrollment.
“We’re glad that we can help those who have lost their jobs in this difficult time for Atlantic City and its surrounding communities,” said NJHA President and CEO Betsy Ryan.
NJHA is a nonprofit trade association based in Princeton, with nearly 400 members including hospitals, nursing homes, home health agencies, rehabilitation facilities and other healthcare providers.