5 Ways Nonprofits Can Help Enroll People for Health Care

written by naehblog
September 26, 2013

Today's blog post was written by written by Clare Duncan, program and policy associate at Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future, and Cathy Dunham, vice president, resident services and community improvement at Preservation of Affordable Housing.


On October 1, the large-scale health insurance expansion established by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will begin. Already, local health centers to national celebrities have begun efforts to encourage and help uninsured individuals enroll. The enrollment process begins in just five days, and if you're with a nonprofit affordable housing provider you can help enroll people too. Here are five things your organization can do:

  1. Partner with federal and state enrollment aides, such as navigators, to host enrollment events at your properties. If you have properties in multiple states, focusing on opportunities in states with high rates of uninsurance could be helpful.
  2. Include enrollment resources in newsletters or other communications to residents.
  3. Post links for relevant state and federal insurance marketplaces on websites or other locations frequently visited by residents.
  4. Provide enrollment materials at properties (i.e. posters, brochures).
  5. Educate staff and resident coordinators about the rules and resources available so they can accurately answer residents’ questions.

Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future (SAHF) is a network of eleven such nonprofit affordable housing providers who provide homes to nearly 100,000 low-income households across the country. SAHF and our members are motivated by a desire to help our residents combat the negative effects of poverty on their health. Thus, we are aggressively working to enroll newly eligible residents over the next six months.

For example, SAHF member, POAH, an affordable housing provider with 8,000 units in nine states, will be focusing their efforts on family properties in states with high rates of uninsurance and under-served communities. They are starting by reaching out to trained enrollment aides in these communities to better understand the on-line and community level resources available for property staff and residents.

If you are interested in helping your residents enroll, check out the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Enroll America websites for helpful ACA background and enrollment resources. In addition, check NAEH’s blog for additional updates.