Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative’s leaders are proud to report that as of the end of January, CGHC had exceeded its 2014 enrollment goal of 10,000 members. Because of this dramatic success, a new goal of 15 to 20 thousand members has been set for the end of 2014.
The CGHC staff is working feverishly to manage the surge of new enrollees. CEO Bob DeVita feels that CGHC’s enrollment goal was reached ahead of schedule because of the many dedicated volunteers who have assisted in the effort. In addition to publicizing the cooperative, many volunteers have also stepped in to help with the crucial mailings of plan contracts and membership cards.
“We could not do this work without them,” DeVita said.
He expects another wave of enrollments before the March 31 cutoff for 2014 insurance, with another wave beginning in November when open enrollment begins.
DeVita reported that most of the current CGHC contracts are for individuals and families (as opposed to groups), and that memberships skew toward females.
He attributes the late snowballing of enrollment to the early problems with the healthcare.gov website. The majority of CGHC enrollments (70%) have come through the federal site. CGHC’s success, he says, comes from its “great product”: excellent benefits, affordable prices, and great providers. Furthermore, it is the only nonprofit, member-governed health insurance company selling insurance in 19 counties in SE Wisconsin.
Volunteers Energize Surge
The 40 volunteers who serve on the Common Ground Healthcare Team have been going door to door for the past three months in a wide variety of business districts in Southeastern Wisconsin, delivering Awareness Flyers about the CGHC. Volunteers have been warmly received in many small businesses, and the results are showing.
Warm receptions and willingness to listen pleased volunteers Michelle Mooney and Harry Moseley as they distributed flyers on the East Side, Riverwest, and Bay Shore Mall. Volunteers encountered “a real hunger for information” from individuals as well as small businesses. People want to know about “real insurance,” beyond “the
political rhetoric that seems to dominate the news programs,” Harry said. One woman grabbed Michelle’s arm, exclaiming, “God bless you!”
“The average person on the street wants help,” Michelle declared. She described flyering as “a real high” because “people get this look in their eye—‘I could really do this!’”
Both were moved by expressions of need, even fear, from people who have pre-existing conditions, and by the relief they express when they discover how federal subsidies will help with cost. Many reacted positively to the fact that the co-op is local, nonprofit, and governed by its members. “You buy it, you own it—this resonates,” said Harry.
To find out more about Common Ground Healthcare, visit the website HERE.
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For more Common Ground news, read our January 2014 Newsletter.