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News Release: Get Covered Connector Makes it Easier for Ohioans to Sign up for Health Coverage

First Year of the Get Covered Connector Makes it Easier for Ohioans to Receive Free Assistance Signing up for Health Coverage through the Marketplace, Medicaid

COLUMBUS, Ohio – are you covered? – Ohio’s campaign to provide free assistance to Ohioans exploring their health insurance options – today released preliminary numbers of Ohioans who have used the new Get Covered Connector program to find counselors who can answer questions or walk applicants through the enrollment process.

“There are still more than 4,500 appointments available through the Get Covered Connector, and we encourage Ohioans to sign up for every one of those spots as we begin the final month of open enrollment,” said Jason Elchert, deputy director of the Ohio Association of Foodbanks. “Open enrollment ends on February 15, and already almost 200,000 Ohioans are enrolled in health coverage for 2015.”

The Get Covered Connector is a scheduling tool that is available to Ohioans to directly schedule appointments for in-person assistance, search for enrollment events by zip code, receive notifications of their appointments and find contact information for counselors in their local area.

During the first year of using the Get Covered Connector, approximately 1,948 Ohioans have made appointments to meet with certified counselors from 26 organizations representing 237 active counselors.

The Ohio Get Covered Connector is available through areyoucoveredohio.org. As well as Ohioans’ link to the Connector, the website provides comprehensive information about the enrollment and reenrollment processes, as well as a central hub of resources for ONCE organizations.

“We know that signing up for health insurance can be overwhelming and frustrating, but our navigators and assisters are there to help Ohioans find the right coverage that meets their needs and their budgets,” said Claudia Y.W. Herrold, senior vice president of communications and public policy at Philanthropy Ohio. “The counselors are an invaluable resource who offer free, completely unbiased help with reviewing the different types of policies, understanding insurance jargon and going through the website sign-up process.”

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 campaign is promoted by the Ohio Network for Health Coverage and Enrollment, a network of 250 organizations throughout Ohio dedicated to providing free assistance to Ohioans as they explore affordable health coverage options.

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.