Community Health & Social Services Center Honored to Host HHS Secretary Sebelius


Secretary Sebelius poses for pictures with CHASS’ Outreach and Enrollment Team.

With last week’s announcement of the administrative rule change allowing states and insurance companies flexibility with their current health plans and an option to restore already cancelled insurance policies for one more year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) organized community engagements across the country to educate consumers about these new changes to the Affordable Care Act’s implementation. Community Health & Social Services (CHASS) Center, a Health Center serving southwest Detroit, was honored to host an event on Friday, November 15.

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius visited CHASS to highlight the multiple ways Michiganders can learn about the Health Insurance Marketplace and enroll for coverage under the Affordable Care Act. She spoke with clients about their enrollment experience, learned about efforts underway in the Detroit-area to educate community members about their options, and met with area Navigators and Certified Application Counselors. The visit, which lasted just over an hour, was the first time the Secretary had visited CHASS.

“We were delighted that Secretary Sebelius chose CHASS Center as the location to meet with local leaders and media to discuss improvements to the website and to hear firsthand about efforts to enroll through paper applications and the call center,” said CHASS CEO J. Ricardo Guzman. “We thank her for her efforts to bring health care coverage to many of our currently uninsured clients.”

CHASS Center offers unique one-on-one assistance to consumers searching for health insurance options. Individuals have the opportunity to receive assistance in examination rooms that enhance privacy and security of personal information. The CHASS Outreach and Enrollment Team is also fluent in Spanish to ensure they provide culturally appropriate help and translation services. Benefits Coordinators also link individuals to other needed services, like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program.

Outreach and enrollment assistance is a critical piece of implementing the Affordable Care Act. Although is still experiencing technical glitches, assistance workers, like those at CHASS, are essential for closing the gap and getting individuals enrolled in a health plan.

Click here for an excerpt of the remarks that Secretary Sebelius delivered during her visit to CHASS. For tools and resources to help with outreach and enrollment activities, visit the MPCA Outreach and Enrollment toolkit and browse the many other resources available in MPCA’s online Education and Resource Center.


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