“State of Enrollment: Health Insurance Outreach and Enrollment during COVID-19” reflects on one of the most tumultuous years on the ground for many who work to implement the Affordable Care Act (ACA). As the world shut down in the spring of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, enrollment assisters sprung into action to help their communities. As many young adults lost job-based health coverage, assisters stepped up to the plate, developing creative solutions and novel outreach strategies to reach those most at risk during one of the worst public health crises in modern history.
As the new administration considers the future of the ACA, this report demonstrates the power of free, unbiased assistance and demonstrates how critical the community organizations that work to educate and enroll consumers in coverage are to the success of the ACA. It is critically important that we go beyond simply undoing the policies of the previous administration. Without dedicated resources to help those who are systematically left out of coverage gain access, disparities among race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status and others will only worsen. The new administration must reimagine how the Navigator program can be designed to be most effective, and serve the needs of their community.