The passage of the Affordable Care Act changed the way consumers learn about, shop for, and enroll in health insurance. One of the biggest changes introduced by the law was the option for states to create their own online Marketplaces for consumers to assess their eligibility for financial assistance, complete an online application for coverage, and enroll in a qualified health plan.
The State of North Carolina elected not to move forward in sponsoring an official health insurance Marketplace, instead defaulting to the federal Marketplace (www.healthcare.gov). As a result, North Carolina also lost out on substantial federal dollars to support a state government agency in charge of overseeing the development of an outreach and enrollment infrastructure. To fill this leadership void, a coalition of nonprofits, now operating under the NC Get Covered brand, came together to better organize the on-the-ground implementation efforts to serve consumers.
Because the State of North Carolina did not create health insurance Marketplace website, in place in other states, there was a lack of North Carolina-specific information about health insurance and enrollment options available to consumers. MDC took the lead in developing the conceptual framework for a new, web-based resource for both consumers and the enrollment assister community. MDC selected Caktus, a Durham-based web application development firm, to create www.nchealthconnect.org.
The goal of the website is to provide NC residents with fast, easy-to-understand information about health insurance and the new health care law. Prominent use of infographics and process diagrams help eliminate confusion regarding health insurance, and lower the barriers to securing in-person assistance
MDC actively works to promote the use of the site with our healthcare enrollment partners, community-based organizations, community colleges, and local governments.