FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 6, 2019
Contact: Paydon Miller
Washington, DC – Today, Reps. Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE-AL), Kathy Castor (FL-14), Dan Kildee (MI-5), and Lucy McBath (GA-6) introduced the Marketing and Outreach Restoration to Empower (MORE) Health Education Act of 2019, a bill to provide guidance and restore funding to the efforts to educate Americans about their enrollment options under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Over the last two years, the Trump Administration has slashed outreach and advertising budget for this work from $100 million in 2016 to $10 million in 2018.
The individual health insurance market is complex, and recent changes to enrollment processes and timelines have left consumers in need of coverage behind. A lack of proactive outreach and education, particularly to the most hard-to-reach communities, directly impacts people’s ability to get the coverage they need. This bill requires the federal government to fund proven education techniques to inform the public about their options under the ACA.
In response to today’s bill introduction, Erin Hemlin, Director of Training and Consumer Education for Young Invincibles, issued the following statement:
“Over the past two years, the Trump Administration has made it their mission to eliminate consumer supports and make it harder to find information about health coverage through the Affordable Care Act. The lack of advertising about open enrollment deadlines and how to enroll in coverage has had a real impact: we saw a 19 percent drop in new enrollments this year.
Reaching uninsured young people, who are the largest age group still uninsured in the country, requires innovation and investment. Young consumers need more reminders, they need clearer direction, they need to be reached where they are – online, on college campuses, on their phones. The Trump administration is leaving young people uninformed and uninsured by attacking the outreach mechanisms that help them get covered.
The MORE Health Education Act requires funding to be used for targeted outreach to promote enrollment and educate the remaining uninsured, and young people enrolling for the first time, about their options on the ACA marketplaces. We urge Congress to pass this bill, and reinvest in the resources that are proven to help Americans get the coverage they need.”