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Helping Local Folks Enroll in Health Insurance

Both local and national media reports this weekend were mentioning today, December 23, as the deadline to enroll in an insurance plan under the Affordable Care Act.

This is untrue.

Today's deadline is for coverage that begins on January 1. The deadline to enroll in an insurance plan is March 31 without incurring penalties.

(Coverage can begin on February 1 for those who enroll by January 15. The rule is that if you sign up between the 1st - 15th of a month, then coverage can begin on the first of the next month. For those who enroll between the 16th to the end of the month, coverage begins the first of the following month [example - January 16 - 31 starts March 1])

The University of Virginia issued a press release last week about a survey it conducted on people enrolling in health care using Healthcare.gov. The statistics were interesting, but not surprising: people with more education found it easier to navigate the website, although many were frustrated by the well documented glitches early on.

What our local media did not do was connect the dots. The Greater Charlottesville Health Care Coalition was formed precisely because local nonprofits and health care providers were concerned about their patients and clients understanding even the basics of how health insurance works. That is why they created the simple and informative website, CvilleEnrolls.org.

CVille Enrolls website header

Coalition partners JABA (434-817-5239) and ASG (434-979-7714) all have staff trained as Certified Application Counselors. Federal "Navigators" are also available locally to help enroll (434-220-1496) and offer language assistance.

In our office, Jessie Ray, Coalition Coordinator and also a Certified Application Counselor, has been meeting with people on a regular basis to answer questions and help them enroll online. She reports that it is getting easier and easier as Healthcare.gov continues to improve. Coalition members can also help those who have previously tried to enroll but failed, to fix their application glitches and get enrolled.

So visit CvilleEnrolls.org to get answers to your questions about the Affordable Care Act and what it means for you. If you need more assistance, call Jessie Ray, Coalition Coordinator, at 434-972-1702. Tell your friends, neighbors and co-workers that there is local help available,even if you have already begun enrollment and have run into problems.

 

Posted by: Kim Connolly

Confused About the New Health Care Options and Requirements?

Confused Person for webConfused about the Affordable Care Act? You are not alone.

The Greater Charlottesville Community Health Coalition is offering quick lunchtime presentations at local library branches.

Get answers to basic questions about the new requirements, tax credits, changes to policies and how to get assistance in signing up.

12/16: Central, Library Madison Room

12/17: Central Library, Madison Room

12/18: Crozet Library, Meeting Room B

12/19: Gordon Ave Library, North Room

12/20: Northside Library, Meeting Room

Presentations run every half hour from 11:30 am until 1:30 pm.

For more information, visit http://www.cvilleenrolls.org/

or call Jessie Ray, Coalition Coordinator, at 434-972-1702.

 

You Can Help Kids Like Jackson

Jackson’s Story

boy silhouette“Jackson” is three years old. He learned to make himself small and quiet when his dad was yelling at and hitting his mom. Then late one night, his mom called the police to come to their house while she and Jackson left with a bag of clothes and some toothbrushes and went to the Shelter for Help in Emergency. The folks at the shelter were really nice and his mom finally got a job so they could move out. But they did not own anything or have any savings, so how was his mom going to be able to pay for child care when they did not even have any furniture?

The average annual cost of child care in our area is $8,200. Jackson’s mom would have a hard time keeping her job if they had to rely on a patchwork of friends and family to watch after him.

Other kids Jackson’s age have shelves full of books at home and their own library cards. They have been to children’s museums, are enrolled in music and tumbling classes, and have computers at home. Jackson would be entering kindergarten way behind his peers and probably would not catch up.

Luckily, a case worker told his mom about our United Way’s Child Care Scholarship program, which helps low income working families afford quality, stable early childhood education. Jackson is now enrolled in a highly rated preschool program that will provide him with the social, emotional and learning skills he will need to enter kindergarten at the same level as his peers. His future looks a lot brighter.

with borderYou can help kids like Jackson succeed in school and life by making a donation to our United Way Child Care Scholarship program on Giving Tuesday - or any day! Thank you!

 

Posted by: Kim Connolly

Help Local Kids Be Ready For School And Life on #GivingTuesday

GT-Web-Banner250x250-slogan-red.jpg copy 1You have heard of Black Friday.

You have heard of Cyber Monday.

Both are days for getting great deals on things.

The Tuesday after Thanksgiving, December 3, is #GivingTuesday. A day for giving back.

#GivingTuesday was a grassroots movement last year, originating on social media and introducing the concept of a national day of giving.

 This year, #GivingTuesday is gaining momentum, with 5,000 nonprofits signed up nationally to advocate for their causes.

Stock - child holding out hands for webAt United Way-Thomas Jefferson Area, we are focusing our #GivingTuesday efforts (and the dollars raised that day) on our Child Care Scholarship Program. Why child care? Because numerous studies show that quality care from ages 0-5 predicts a child’s ability to graduate from high school as well as sustain employment.

We like to think of it as investing in our children. The average annual cost of quality child care in our area is $8,200. Our program is open to working families earning 160% to 200% of the Federal Poverty Level. Child care costs can take up to a third of a household’s income for a single working parent. Our scholarship program uses a sliding scale that encourages the use of high quality, licensed providers to ensure that children are best prepared for kindergarten.

with borderOn #GivingTuesday, December 3, we are dedicating all online donations that come in that day to our Child Care Scholarship program to give local children access to quality, stable early education environments to prepare them for success in school and life.

Before then, we ask for your help in getting out the word: Be a social media ambassador and Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter and share our posts and retweet our messages about #GivingTuesday and specifically donating online to us that day.

Together, we can change a child’s future. Learn more about our Child Care Scholarship program here.

 

Posted by: Kim Connolly

Introducing CvilleVolunteer.org

toy cleaning low resEver thought about volunteering at a local food bank during the holidays? Maybe you have considered becoming a mentor to a child, being a friendly visitor at a nursing home or even sharing your talents in fundraising with a nonprofit. Whatever type of volunteer activity you have thought about doing during your lunch break, with your family, or as a team builder at work, we’ve got your way to get connected!

The United Way-Thomas Jefferson Area Volunteer Center has launched a new website, CvilleVolunteer.org to help local community members find volunteer opportunities, nonprofit events, and more.

DOC team at table low resThe new Volunteer Center website offers an improved user experience, using the Get Connected digital platform for nonprofits to share volunteer activities, in-kind needs, and events with community members interested in making an impact.

Volunteers are able to “become a fan” of their favorite local nonprofits to get emails anytime a new event or opportunity is posted by that organization. Volunteers who aren’t sure which organization they would like to volunteer with, or are looking to share a specific skill, can check out the listing of needs to see all posted volunteer opportunities from local nonprofits. In addition to the volunteer activities, there are in-kind needs posted, advocacy opportunities, and a listing of events.

Tablesaw DOC volunteer for webDon’t miss out on this chance to get connected! From event planning opportunities to mentoring to web support, there are opportunities posted now to fit any schedule or skill set. With www.CvilleVolunteer.org, finding a way to make an impact in the Charlottesville area is easier than ever!

If you have questions or need assistance with the website, please contact Jessica Snyder, Volunteer Center Director at 434-972-1705.

P.S. If you don't see your favorite nonprofit from Charlottesville, Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa or Nelson counties listed on the website, please give them a call and ask them to register today.

 

Posted by: Jessica Snyder

Walking, Dancing And Moving Our Way To Better Health

We don’t mean to brag, but…

Move2Health-Logo-with-sloganUnited Way-Thomas Jefferson Area has consistently been in the top five local organizations in average minutes moved in the Move2Health campaign, The tag line for the campaign is “Walk. Bike. Dance. Play. 30 minutes every day.” The campaign fits in perfectly with our Community Health impact area.

Because of our participation in this campaign, our staff members have been very conscious of how much we move every day. We are achieving our goals by walking, running, Zumba, Jazzercise, gardening, walking our dogs, hiking, dancing (Salsa, Samba and Techno), swimming, elliptical, baby stroller walks, and playing with kids outside.

We hold our weekly staff meeting standing up rather than seated. Just the mere fact that we need to log our minutes every week has prompted each of us to move a little bit more, take the stairs, park further away from the store and put a pair of sneakers in our cars for potential midday walks.

The campaign has met its first goal of one million minutes, and campaign chair Brian O'Connor, University of Virginia Head Baseball Coach, has announce a new challenge, Triple Play: get two more people or organizations to join you in registering on the Move2Health website.

Have you registered yet on the Move2Health website? You will be doing yourself a favor through better habits.

Posted by: Kim Connolly

Announcing CvilleEnrolls.org for Local Health Insurance Assistance

 

Local Coalition Aims to Explain and Simplify Health Care Enrollment Process

Six months ago, local nonprofit agencies, concerned that their uninsured clients and patients would have many questions about the Health Insurance Marketplace under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), joined together to ensure that their clients received consistent information. They formed the Greater Charlottesville Community Health Coalition.

The result is www.CvilleEnrolls.org, a website that simplifies information about the ACA. The Coalition is also offering enrollment assistance to agency clients by appointment. The sessions take place at a variety of locations with Certified Application Counselors.

Counselors can offer enrollment assistance and help clients understand health insurance and the options offered in the Health Insurance Marketplace. Local residents are encouraged to visit the CvilleEnrolls.org website as their first stop in learning about the ACA and their options.

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The Greater Charlottesville Community Health Coalition members include:

AIDS Services Group (ASG)

Alzheimer’s Association

Charlottesville Free Clinic

Children, Youth and Family Services

Jefferson Area Board for Aging (JABA)

Jefferson Area CHiP (JACHiP)

Legal Aid Justice Center

Mental Health and Wellness Coalition

Monticello Area Community Action Agency (MACAA)

Paul Martin and the students of PPOL4770, Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, UVA

Piedmont Housing Alliance (PHA)

Region Ten Community Services Board

The Thomas Jefferson Health District

United Way-Thomas Jefferson Area

The Women’s Initiative

 Listen to a podcast of an interview on NewsRadio 1070 WINA

Upcoming Introduction to Health Insurance and the Marketplace (presentation only)

Monday, October. 21, 6 – 7 pm Trinity Episcopal Church 1042 Preston Ave.

Saturday, October 26, 10 – 11 am Children Youth & Family Services 1000 East High Street Lower level

Enrollment Assistance – Appointment only. 1 hour appointments available.

Tuesday Oct. 29 and Wednesday Oct 30, 4 – 8 pm Region Ten. Old Lynchburg Rd

Sat. Nov. 2, 10 – 1 Region Ten Old Lynchburg Road

More sessions are being scheduled. Check www.CvilleEnrolls.org on the calendar page for updates.

 

For more information on CvilleEnrolls or the Affordable Care Act, or to schedule an appointment with a Certified Application Counselor, please call the Coalition coordinator, Jessie Ray, at the United Way at 434-972-1702.

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