During the final weekend of open enrollment for DC residents, the folks at DC Health Link were trying to get more people to sign up for the affordable health plan.
“You have to engage with the people you’re trying to reach. If you don’t engage with them, you’re not going to get anywhere,” said Antonio Guernica, director of business development at the DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority.
On Sunday, Guernica was in Adams Morgan at Our Lady Queen of the Americas Catholic Church, one of the last stops of the engagement week.
“We send emails. We make phone calls. We follow up. We go to visit them – whatever it takes,” he said with a laugh. “What does that do to you?” Well, first, it keeps your family healthy… Second, it protects you from financial problems. Paying high medical bills is one of the main reasons people spend money. “
Masses at the church are celebrated in both English and Spanish, so it is a great place to reach out to immigrants.
The outreach continued at the popular Ben’s Chili Bowl on U Street NW. When groups of tourists came from all over for the food, atmosphere and history, Thompson came to study.
“The process was very smooth. We learned a lot [about] how DC health care is done and what needs to be done,” said Rich Thompson.
“I think so [the effort is] it’s really important, because a lot of people don’t have the time or don’t know where to go,” said Angela Thompson.
So, at restaurants and at church, DC Health Link took the opportunity over the weekend to offer suggestions.
“We realize that health insurance is not an adulterous issue, but it is very important,” Guernica said.
Registration ends on January 31st, so there’s still time to apply.
“The best place to go is DChealthlink.com. There you will have all the information about what we are doing,” said Guernica.