Out2Enroll

Out2Enroll Logo 2Out2Enroll is a project dedicated to improving the health and lives of LGBT community members. A recent survey found that 78% of Americans are unaware of their new coverage options under the Affordable Care Act, including the ability to shop for insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplaces, the premium subsidies to be offered to qualified individuals, and expanded eligibility for Medicaid coverage in various states.

Moreover, the same states that are home to many underserved LGBT individuals and their families are those where state governments are refusing to cooperate with the expansion of health insurance coverage under the health reform law. As such, the Out2Enroll effort is intended to serve as a critical link between these LGBT community members and the benefits and services that they may be eligible for – but unaware of – under the health reform law.

Out2Enroll is a collaborative effort among the Sellers Dorsey Foundation, the Center for American Progress, the Federal Agencies Project, and other national, state, and regional LGBT organizations. The Out2Enroll initiative is also being developed in consultation with the White House and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The project’s goal is to educate LGBT community members about their coverage options under the health reform law, particularly about the October 1, 2013 launch of open enrollment in plans through the Marketplaces in every state. Out2Enroll will be comprised of two key parts – a national outreach effort and individual state campaigns – and includes a specific focus on the transgender community.

The public launch of the Out2Enroll initiative took place on September 12th at the White House. The event, which was also live streamed over the internet, featured keynote remarks from Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, a community organizations best practices panel featuring longstanding LGBT State Exchanges Project partners, and the presentation of new research commissioned by the LGBT State Exchanges Project about the experiences, needs, and concerns of LGBT people in accessing health insurance coverage and health care. This research, which involved eight focus groups in four states and an 860-person survey conducted between May and August of this year, is the first systematic investigation of how effective outreach about the new coverage options available under the Affordable Care Act can help address persistent disparities in access to insurance and health care among LGBT communities.

The event provided an opportunity for over 200 community leaders and advocates from across the country to network with each other and to forge connections that will expand the capacity of LGBT and consumer health advocates to understand and effectively work on LGBT health issues. These connections are particularly vital in states—notably in the South and Midwest—that have few other resources for LGBT health advocacy and where health reform’s legal protections for LGBT individuals and their families will be particularly important. As these connections develop, they will complement LGBT State Exchanges Project efforts to incorporate LGBT-specific issues into broader health advocacy agendas in communities across the country and to strengthen nationwide efforts to address the financial and human costs of health disparities.

The event at the White House coincided with the launch of www.out2enroll.org, a key communications vehicle for the campaign. The full website will be released in conjunction with National Coming Out Day on October 11th.  Out2Enroll’s launch received positive press, including the Washington Post and Kaiser Health News, and garnered significant interest on social media, including tweets from Valerie Jarrett, Logo TV, and the Trevor Project.  On its first day alone, Out2Enroll reached 1.3 million users and had 2.6 million impressions. #Out2Enroll was trending in the Washington, DC area on Twitter.

Read the press announcement here.

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For more information or to support Out2Enroll, contact clabonte@sellersdorseyfoundation.org or call 215.279.9746.