In the summer of 2013, attorneys and other professionals from the Virginia Poverty Law Center (VPLC), Young Invincibles and legal aid programs throughout Virginia – many with extensive experience advising people about their health coverage options – created “ENROLL Virginia!” Enroll Virginia is a nonpartisan, community-based effort to educate all Virginians about the new health insurance marketplace and provide free, unbiased assistance with the application and enrollment process.
For many of the uninsured, this is the first time they are applying for health coverage, selecting a health plan, and using coverage to obtain services. As a result, many Virginians need help understanding their new health insurance options and applying for tax credits through the Marketplace. Providing one-on-one assistance through efforts like Enroll Virginia are critical to educating small businesses and individuals about the new options and helping them enroll.
Enroll Virginia members work throughout the Commonwealth to educate Virginians about the Marketplace and provide application assistance to small businesses and/ individuals who need our help. Before providing any assistance to consumers, all of the professionals working with Enroll Virginia complete more than 20 hours of training on the Marketplace, available insurance plans, financial assistance, and Virginia’s Medicaid and FAMIS programs. This comprehensive training is the most required of any assister certified to help Virginians with the Marketplace.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recognized the importance of the Enroll Virginia in-person assistance network by inviting our effort to participate in the Federal Navigator program. This program is only available to enrollment assistance networks that can demonstrate an ability to adhere to strict privacy and security standards and have existing relationships with communities with large numbers of people who are uninsured.