Ellis County residents can receive healthcare enrollment assistance

Daily Light Report

Prism Health North Texas (PHNTX) recently has received a three-year award as part of the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas consortium group to offer multiple services supportive of engaging individuals with the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

This $8.3 million grant is funded as part of the Biden-Harris Administration to provide Affordable Care Act education and enrollment services to uninsured North Texans. Prism Health North Texas is poised to enroll the general public for health insurance education and enrollment assistance and provide support for Medicaid and CHIP.

Prism Health North Texas is providing ACA navigation services to 12 North Texas counties: Dallas, Ellis, Collin, Cooke, Denton, Fannin, Grayson, Henderson, Hunt, Kaufman, Navarro and Rockwall.

Dr. John Carlo

This latest grant wholly aligns with Prism Health North Texas’s vision statement: Building equitable healthcare access for all Texans. PHNTX’s commitment is to provide healthcare for all North Texans in a non-judgmental and affirming environment, especially for marginalized populations including those living with HIV, LGBTQIA+, and the ethnic minorities. 

“This funding will enable our communities to receive a service that is critical for many individuals and families to enroll in healthcare coverage,” said Jennifer Sampson, McDermott-Templeton President and CEO of United Way of Metropolitan Dallas in a release. “The Dallas area did not have this funding for the past four years, which had a direct impact of the number of uninsured who weren’t receiving support and information to navigate the complexity of finding a healthcare plan.”

PHNTX has been involved with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) since its inception as a Certified Designated Organization (CDO) under the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Since that time, PHNTX has maintained their active status allowing them to certify case management staff and other essential patient services staff to assist patients in ACA enrollment. PHNTX acts as the consummate health resource for marginalized populations attempting to navigate the system by providing education, assistance and support through the process. 

This new funding opportunity allows PHNTX to build a new program staffed with seven certified ACA Navigators and a certified program manager to help consumers seeking health insurance through healthcare.gov, the Federally Facilitated Marketplace (FFM). Under this new grant, PHNTX ACA Navigators will provide virtual and in-person community education, outreach, and enrollment across 12 counties. This funding opportunity will allow PHNTX to focus on identifying marginalized and overlooked communities to provide enrollment assistance that meets consumers’ needs.

“PHNTX is committed to our North Texas community, and we are devoted to serve within communities often under-represented,” Akosua S. Addo, Senior Director of Case Management and Patient Services said. “The current COVID-19 climate has illuminated many health care disparities. The importance of having health insurance cannot be underestimated. We are here to guide consumers through the entire Health Insurance Marketplace application process including providing referrals to Medicaid and CHIP all year round.”

PHNTX plans virtual and in-person outreach events, identifying marginalized and overlooked communities and meeting the people “where they are” to provide information, education and preparedness. The organization will accept invitations to any civic organizations or programs who seek their assistance in educating constituents about the Affordable Care Act enrollment process. The ACA enrollment period began Nov. 1 and runs through Jan. 15, 2022. Consumers are encouraged to sign-up during that period and contact PHNTX for enrollment support. 

“We are excited to help even more people in North Texas find affordable health insurance coverage,” said Dr. John Carlo, CEO of Prism Health North Texas. “As both the HIV and COVID pandemics have taught us, preventive healthcare, which is only achievable through affordable health insurance, is essential.”