|EGEA Hosts Affordable Care Act Enrollment
and Education Event
(EGEA Executive Board Members Rick Stancil and Tod Newkom discuss the event with healthcare enrollment counselors)
In an attempt to serve the local community of Elk Grove, the EGEA hosted an Affordable Care Act event. The local association believes that it not only serves its members but also sees the needs of children as more than what happens to them during the school day. EGEA has worked to expand our community outreach in recent years, recognizing that community education and service is an integral part of who we are as an association. Our community supports its teachers, and in return, we support our community.
On February 1st, the Elk Grove Education Association hosted a community Healthcare Education and Enrollment Event in partnership with Assemblymember Dr. Richard Pan's Office. Community members arrived throughout the day to enroll their families in healthcare. Many more were able to ask questions and receive information about healthcare options. In addition, there were opportunities to sign up for enrollment appointments at a later date. EGEA is proud to have hosted the largest healthcare enrollment event to date in Elk Grove.
This event arose out of a conversation between Ken Poppers (EGEA Grievance Chair) and Robbie Abelon (Dr. Pan's District Director) during Dr. Pan's visit to the EGEA Rep Council last fall. This initial partnership between EGEA and Dr. Pan's office got the ball rolling and other groups were brought on-board to aid in this community outreach event. Staff from Dr. Pan’s office, EGEA members, Elk Grove Benefits Employee Retiree Trust staff (EGBERT), the Health Education Council, John Lee (Insurance Agent), Kaiser, the UC Davis Center for Reducing Health Disparities, Sacramento Covered, One Solution, and union members from Service Employee International Union/United Healthcare Workers (SEIU/UHW) all worked to organize, educate and enroll individuals and families. We were also pleased to have EGUSD’s Valley High School Health TECH Academy set up booths on nutrition, heart health, as well as held discussions on teen depression. Students demonstrated not only their subject knowledge but also their skills in communication and education. Academy Coordinator and EGEA member John Buckmaster was key in preparing students to showcase the work of their academy.
One of the biggest challenges in organizing the event was getting the word out about this opportunity. In the end, EGEA members helped by distributing more than 8,000 flyers to students, advertising on their social media pages, and encouraging people they knew to attend.
EGEA member Terri Washington encouraged her brother Michael Brunswick, who had not yet signed up for the health exchange, to attend. After spending one-on-one time with an enrollment counselor, Michael walked away with his mission accomplished. “This was a wonderful experience. This relieved a lot of stress and the staff was great. Attempting to sign up online was daunting and I was happy to get this done today,” Michael reported.
When asked why the association was co-sponsoring an event that was not directly related to our members, EGEA President Maggie Ellis said, “The health of our students is directly related to their educational progress. This does directly impact members on a daily basis. Anything that we can do to promote health and wellness education and access to healthcare for our families is a worthwhile effort. It makes sense to be a partner in providing personal service to help people navigate the difficult process of deciding and enrolling in healthcare. Providing education is what we do.”
EGEA will be hosting another Healthcare Enrollment Event on March 22nd, 2014 from 10am-2pm.