WASHINGTON, Sept. 23, 2013 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — The National Patient Advocate Foundation (NPAF), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), U.S. News Health, and Latinos in Social Media (LATISM) participated in concurrent Twitter chats in English (#HealthPlans) and Spanish (#OurSalud) yesterday to answer consumer questions about the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) new health insurance marketplaces, which open for enrollment starting October 1, 2013.
“The countdown has begun for consumers to educate themselves on how to access insurance products from health insurance marketplaces across the country and NPAF and its patient assistance counterpart Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF) are proud to assist patients in learning what plans are best for them and their families,” stated Dr. Alan Balch, Chief Executive Officer of NPAF and PAF.
These Twitter chats come as one of the landmark provisions of healthcare reform is triggered and consumers face a new world of healthcare insurance choices and decisions.
The Twitter chats opened up the dialogue to Spanish-speaking participants at a time when 15.8 million Hispanic Americans are without health insurance (U.S. Census, 2011). Confusion and curiosity dominates the landscape as 51% of Americans polled say they don’t have enough information about the ACA to understand how it will impact them and their family (Kaiser Health Tracking Poll, August 2013).
“We were pleased to collaborate with HHS, U.S. News Health and LATISM to ensure that language is not a barrier when obtaining information on what healthcare plans are affordable and fit individual and family needs. It is important that consumers who have struggled with access to affordable healthcare maximize this new opportunity to obtain coverage. That is why the policy experts at NPAF in conjunction with professional case managers at PAF have developed a User’s Guide to ensure this vital information reaches patients and consumers who will need direction and guidance as they embark on a new way to access health care coverage,” said Nancy Davenport-Ennis, founder and Chairman of the Board for both NPAF and PAF.
Twitter chat topics discussed via #HealthPlans and #OurSalud included:
- General information – What is the health insurance exchange? How can I find out if my state participates? How does it differ from traditional health insurance? Who is eligible to enroll?
- Getting prepared – How do I enroll? What resources and organizations are available to help me through the process?
- Cost – How do I evaluate the cost of the new plans? What are the options if I can’t afford coverage?
- Benefits – What preventive care options are available? What benefits are offered through the plans?
As of 5:00 pm Thursday, the chats attracted 314 participants and generated 1,192 tweets and 24,171,534 impressions.
Available online, the 2013 Health Reform and You User’s Guide to Health Insurance Marketplaces can be viewed and downloaded at www.patientadvocate.org/marketplaces. In addition, patients can view PAF’s healthcare reform section of the website for even more information related to the passage of the Affordable Care Act.
To follow National Patient Advocate Foundation on Twitter, please visit www.twitter.com/NPAF_tweets.
SOURCE National Patient Advocate Foundation