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Need new health insurance NOW?

If you experience certain life changes, you don’t have to wait for Open Enrollment in November to enroll in affordable health coverage on healthcare.gov or your state’s marketplace. You have 60 days after the following events to apply for a Special Enrollment Period and enroll:

• Moving to a new zip code or county
• Getting married or divorced
• Having a baby, adopting or becoming a foster parent
• Becoming a U.S. citizen or getting a green card

You have 60 days before or after the following to enroll: 

• Losing your health insurance from your job
• Turning 26 and aging off your parent’s health plan

And if you are experiencing domestic violence and want to apply for your own health plan, you can do so at any time.

Learn more about Special Enrollment Periods at healthcare.gov or call 1-800-318-2596.

 

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Friday
Mar042016

New: Cover Our Families Advocacy Toolkit!

We all deserve health insurance and the medical care it provides. Expanded Medicaid eligibility remains a critical component of the Affordable Care Act’s plan for ensuring coverage and access to care for low-income people. But, 19 states are still refusing to expand Medicaid, leaving 3 million people -- including low-income women, women of color and LGBTQ people -- with no path to health care.

Even as President Obama announced yesterday that 20 million people have gained coverage through the Affordable Care Act, the New York Times was reminding us that the remaining uninsured are largely poor people in the South and other states that have not expanded Medicaid.

That’s why Raising Women’s Voices has developed a new Cover Our Families Community Organizing & Advocacy Toolkit we hope will help our RWV regional coordinators and allies in non-expansion states to educate and mobilize affected people through house parties and town hall meetings. It is inspired by the hard work of our regional coordinators, some of whom have used house parties as an organizing tactic for years.

The Toolkit is broken up into four different sections that are full of information, sources, “how-to” suggestions, interactive exercises and games:

  • It opens up with a messaging section that includes three double-sided fact sheets that are ready to print (or insert your logo) for handouts. The sheets include facts about what is the coverage gap, who falls in it, the impacts on communities of color, why Medicaid needs to get expanded and the economic benefits of doing so.
  • The event planning section is rooted in knowledge from RWV Co-founder and legendary organizer Byllye Avery, RWV Regional Field Manager Cecilia Saenz Becerra and Kwajelyn Jackson of the Feminist Women’s Health Center in Atlanta (RWV‘s Regional Coordinator for Georgia). It explains how to organize a town hall or a house party. Included are a facilitator’s guide, sample flyer and model save-the-date card.
  • In the third section, we tried making reaching out to the media as easy as possible by providing tips on how to write an op-ed, sample letters to the editor, a sample press release and suggested social media messages.
  • The fourth section is devoted to resources, because we have heard from our Regional Coordinators the desire to have local numbers and specific women of color data for quite some time now. Data for our communities, including the LGBTQ communities, remains a challenge, but we tried our best to provide centrally located information in the resources section.
We have supplemented the toolkit with a separate Legislative guide that contains tips and a sample letter to legislators.

Next week, RWV Regional Coordinators across the country in non-expansion states will be receiving their own made-to-order toolkits: a printed Cover Our Families Community Organizing & Advocacy Toolkit booklet, a USB that contains editable files, Cover Our Families fans, and stickers. 

We will be holding a call to review the toolkit and go in depth about organizing town halls and house parties on Wednesday, March 9 at 3pm EST. If you’re interested in attending the call, RSVP to Cecilia at csbecerra@nwhn.org. Limited spots are available, so reserve yours now! In preparation of the call, fill out this form to download your copy of the toolkit.

We believe this toolkit -- combined with the experience, organizing and on the ground coalition efforts by RWV’s Regional Coordinators, their partners and our allies -- will help bring us closer to Medicaid expansion in all 50 states!

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