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Nonprofit Groups, Volunteers Hustle to Meet ACA Deadline


Friday, March 14, 2014   

PHOENIX – As the March 31 signup deadline for the Affordable Care Act approaches, hundreds of Arizona organizations and thousands of volunteers are working across Arizona to handle a last-minute surge of enrollments.

Tara Plese, senior director of external affairs with Arizona Alliance for Community Health Centers, says one recent ad placed on the social media site Pandora generated more than 1,400 responses.

"We're seeing a real sense of urgency now, amongst people,” she relates. “So, there are more and more requests coming in and more people that appear to be anxious to get enrolled."

Organizations such as Planned Parenthood are going door-to-door, while others such as Cover Arizona and Enroll America are supporting enrollment events in cities around the state virtually every day through the end of the month.

Vanessa Gonzalez-Plumhoff, director of Latino leadership and engagement with Planned Parenthood Federation of America, says her organization’s outreach efforts have already contacted more than a million people nationwide, including more than 56,000 in Arizona.

"Making sure that everyone understands the benefits of the Affordable Care Act, to include no-cost birth control, access to preventative care, as well as the possibility of being able to qualify for financial assistance," she explains.

Gonzalez-Plumhoff says the Planned Parenthood outreach is emphasizing states with significant Latino populations.

"We know that the Latino community has the opportunity and the potential to have the greatest health gains and health coverage from the ACA,” she stresses. “And so you know, in states like New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, Colorado and Florida, we are making that outreach."

A major Affordable Care Act enrollment event is taking place all day today at the Arizona Alliance for Community Health Centers at 7th Street and Jefferson in Phoenix.

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