"Nurses play an absolutely critical and important role in these efforts" to help people get affordable health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told some 500 nurses in a national call on January 23.
Nurses know from "firsthand experience just how important coverage can be: what it means to your patients, and whether they are able to get the care they need when they need it. Pretty often it’s you and your colleagues who are your patient’s friends, who your neighbors turn to for advice, who your families look to about their care. In fact, we know from research that people are much more likely to trust information about the Affordable Care Act when they get it from health care providers – nurses and doctors – than when it comes from sources like the news media, their employers, even their friends and family," she said.
More than 40 national nursing organizations invited their members to participate in call focused on encouraging nurses to take advantage of what HRSA Administrator Mary K. Wakefield, PhD, RN described as "an unprecedented opportunity for nurses to help ensure that people know about coverage options and that more people are able to get health and stay healthy because they have insurance coverage."
The initial open enrollment period for the Health Insurance Marketplace ends on March 31.
Four nurses also shared their own experiences in conducting outreach and enrollment: