Non-Profit That Helped Enroll New Jerseyans In Obamacare Declares State A Success

The Record ( — Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Staff Writer
The Record

Enroll America, the national non-profit that helped organize outreach activities on behalf of the Affordable Care Act in New Jersey and 10 other states, has declared success here and is moving its staff elsewhere.

More than 254,000 New Jersey residents have enrolled in health coverage through the federal marketplace, and another 415,000 have signed up for Medicaid coverage. Before new insurance options became available in January 2014, it was estimated that 900,000 uninsured New Jersey residents were eligible for coverage.

"We're incredibly proud of the work we've done in New Jersey, and the enrollment success we've seen and the strong local coalition, New Jersey for Healthcare, that is in place," said Alescia Teel, Enroll America's deputy state director for New Jersey. "Our goal over the next few years is to make ourselves unnecessary by passing the baton to local organizations and leaders."

She and Justine Cesarano, the state director, will shift their efforts to Pennsylvania.

In the future, Enroll America will have an on-the-ground presence in California and Colorado, two states that had not been included in their efforts before. New Jersey and Illinois will continue to receive research and technical support. The other states where Enroll America is active are Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas.

Enroll America uses the detailed ZipCode mapping pioneered by Barack Obama's political campaigns to target activities in support of the president's signature domestic initiative.

Many community agencies and service organizations joined in efforts to spread information about how to sign up for coverage in New Jersey, said Maura Collinsgru, health care advocate with New Jersey Citizen Action, who convened the statewide coalition with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Those efforts will continue.

The remaining uninsured, she said, are harder to reach. "That takes a more intensive, more one-on-one approach," she said. "I think those individuals are best served by community groups that know them and serve them in other ways."

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