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Press Release

New Ohio Campaign Promotes Free Resources Available to Help Uninsured Ohioans Explore Health Insurance Options

COLUMBUS, OH--(Marketwired - Nov 24, 2014) -  Today, the Ohio Network for Health Coverage and Enrollment, a network of 250 organizations throughout Ohio, working to provide health coverage to the uninsured, launches a new public awareness campaign called are you covered?

The campaign highlights the free resources available to connect Ohioans to information and free assistance to enroll in health insurance through Medicaid and the Marketplace, via television and radio public service announcements, marketing materials and a website that provides comprehensive information for Ohioans exploring their health insurance options.

"We know that Ohioans are more likely to complete the enrollment process with the assistance of a navigator or a counselor, so it is important that Ohioans understand these free resources are available and where to find them," said Jason Elchert, deputy director of the Ohio Association of Foodbanks. "Whether Ohioans are signing up for health insurance for the first time, renewing their current plan or enrolling in Medicaid, we're here to help them find the plan that best fits their needs and their budget."

The Ohio Association of Foodbanks is the recipient of a federal grant to manage the navigator program in the state of Ohio and leads the are you covered? campaign, along with Philanthropy Ohio.

The website, areyoucoveredohio.org, provides comprehensive information about the enrollment process, as well as links to schedule a meeting with a navigator or counselor. These free counseling sessions take place in person or over the phone and can be as simple as asking a few questions about the process or going through it step-by-step with a trained counselor.

For those renewing their policies, purchased through the Marketplace during the first enrollment process, free assistance remains available and meetings with counselors are encouraged.

"More than 100,000 Ohioans will be renewing the policies they purchased a year ago, but rules about the policies have changed, as well as the circumstances in people's lives," said Claudia Y.W. Herrold, vice president of communications and public policy at Philanthropy Ohio. "It is very important that those individuals take a fresh look to make sure their policies still meet their needs and their budgets."

Last year, the counselors and navigators of the Ohio Network for Health Coverage and Enrollment (ONCE) helped 37,000 Ohioans enroll in new health care insurance plans. Four out of five Ohioans enrolling received financial assistance to pay their health insurance premium costs.

An important upcoming date in the process is December 15, 2014. That is the final day to sign up for health insurance that will begin on January 1, 2015.

About are you covered?
are you covered?
is a statewide effort to connect Ohioans to free information and assistance exploring their health insurance options and enrolling in health coverage. are you covered? receives funding from AARP Ohio, Asian Services in Action, Interact for Health, the Ohio Association of Foodbanks and Voices for Ohio's Children. The Health Policy Institute of Ohio, Philanthropy Ohio and other groups provide project management and support to the campaign. 

Media Contact:
Amanda Wurst
614-224-8114
awurst@paulwerth.com