Beginning November 1, 2023, Prism Health North Texas (PHNTX) will offer free services supportive of engaging individuals with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) via a dedicated team of ACA Navigators. As a continuation of the implementation of a United Way of Metropolitan Dallas grant funded in part by the Biden-Harris Administration originally announced in 2021, PHNTX’s seven ACA Navigators will continue to support North Texans with health insurance education, enrollment assistance, and Medicaid, SNAP, and CHIP application assistance.
Residents of 13 North Texas counties – Collin, Cooke, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Fannin, Grayson, Henderson, Hurst, Kaufman, Navarro, Rockwall and Tarrant – will be eligible for enrollment assistance from PHNTX during the open enrollment period of November 1 through January 15, 2024. The ACA Navigator services include: helping to understand health insurance marketplace plans, locating in-network physicians, comparing health plans, selecting a health plan that meets the needs of North Texans and their families, and assisting with enrollment of other health services.
“Our team of ACA Navigators are here to help North Texas consumers not only enroll and access quality healthcare but to educate them on their options, their current enrollment status, and how to utilize essential services available to them,” said Ismael Cruz, Director of Health Benefits for Prism Health North Texas. “Accessing insurance is often considered complicated and confusing but our team will work towards reaching North Texans where they are, offering free support in English and in Spanish via phone, virtual and in person meetings.”
ACA Enrollment Assistance services are especially important heading into 2024 with record inflation figures, rising healthcare costs, and the national unwinding of Medicaid, cementing Texas’ status as the state with the highest number of uninsured individuals.
As part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) extended Medicaid eligibility and required states to maintain enrollment of nearly all Medicaid recipients during the pandemic rather than requiring re-enrollment each year as was previously standard. Now that more than 60,000 individuals in North Texas have been unenrolled from Medicaid, they will re-enter the healthcare market and may be eligible for coverage through the ACA or by re-applying to Medicaid.
“Healthcare costs have been trending upward for several years and with increasing inflation, we encourage North Texans to utilize this service and access the free or affordable healthcare options that are available to them,” Cruz added. “There are excellent options available for folks who work in industries that may not offer traditional employee-match benefits including retail, hospitality, or construction. It’s all about educating the public on how they can access and understand the options available, and together we can increase the number of Texans with access to quality healthcare.”
ACA Navigation assistance is part of PHNTX’s overall strategy to implement its mission to promote health equity of communities it serves through education, prevention, research and affirming personalized care. The ACA Navigators will execute community engagement events to provide information, education and preparedness. They will also accept invitations to any civic organizations or programs who seek their assistance in educating constituents about the ACA enrollment process.
To learn more about accessing assistance from PHNTX’s ACA Navigators at no cost, call (469) 884-6801 or complete a request form to be contacted directly.