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PPWNM Educating Uninsured Women about New Insurance Plans

Published: | Updated: 10.01.13

GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan Planned Parenthood of West and Northern Michigan (PPWNM) joined Planned Parenthood Federation of America in launching a multimedia campaign to help inform and educate uninsured Michigan residents about the benefits and availability of new health insurance plans available for enrollment starting on October 1. The campaign includes online tools and information in our health centers that will help women get enrolled and make informed decisions so they can choose a new insurance plan that works best for them. Enrollment begins on Tuesday, October 1, and runs through March 31, 2014.

“Starting this week, thousands of Michigan residents without insurance will be able to enroll in more affordable, quality health insurance plans, but that’s if they know that they can, how they should, or what happens if they don’t,” said PPWNM Communications Manager Julie McKeiver, “That’s why we are launching a new website and practical tools to help educate eligible, uninsured women about the new health insurance options available to them.”

Tools include:
• PlannedParenthoodHealthInsuranceFacts.org
• A Guide for How to Interview Insurance Plans
• An animated video that breaks down the basics of what to consider when looking for a plan

The centerpiece of the campaign, PlannedParenthoodHealthInsuranceFacts.org, is an online resource that provides an overview of what the law means for women, a glossary of important terms related to the law and to health insurance, a cost calculator that helps visitors get a sense of what kind of financial assistance they may be eligible for, and specifics on what to consider as a woman in choosing a health insurance plan. 

The education effort also includes a four-page guide to help women think about the various questions they may want to consider when comparing plans — and specific guidance on how to ask insurers to get the answers they need; and a video with practical guidance and tips highlighting important factors to consider when deciding which health insurance plan is best for you.

In addition to the new suite of tools, the campaign includes educational materials that will be featured in PPWNM’s eight health centers in West and Northern Michigan.

With the enrollment period beginning, recent polls have revealed mass confusion among those likely to benefit from Obamacare most. A poll conducted by The Wall Street Journal/NBC last week found that, among the uninsured, 76 percent of respondents said they didn’t understand the law and how it would affect them. Fifty-two percent of the uninsured polled believed Obamacare wouldn’t affect them at all. PPWNM’s ACA education efforts will help women understand how the law will benefit them — and ensure they have what they need to get enrolled in the plans that are best for them.

Women stand to benefit considerably from the health care law. They represent nearly half of the uninsured and have unique health care needs, particularly during their reproductive years. As part of the health care law, preventive health care needs for women, like birth control, annual well-women exams and cancer screenings, are available for free without a co-pay. And women will no longer have to pay more for health insurance than men and can no longer be denied insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions like breast cancer, having a C-section, or being the victim of domestic violence.

Nationally, nearly 12 million uninsured women between the ages of 19 and 44 will become eligible for new health insurance either through Medicaid or Marketplace plans. Planned Parenthood’s online resource on the health care law, plannedparenthoodhealthinsuracefacts.org, is the go-to destination for information for women about the new health care law and for help getting enrolled.

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Planned Parenthood of West and Northern Michigan (PPWNM) provides sexual health care and sexuality education services, and advocates for access to these services for everyone. PPWNM, an affiliate of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, operates health centers in eight Michigan cities -- Big Rapids, Grand Rapids, Ionia, Marquette, Muskegon, Petoskey, Traverse City, and Wyoming -- providing medical and education services to thousands of women, men, and teenagers each year. Log on, learn more: ppwnm.org.

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