Healthcare help – Mar. 31

JR's puppies in Jefferson ParkDid you know that the deadline to obtain health insurance is March 31st?

The next open enrollment period isn’t until November and after March 31st, every month you are uninsured, you and your uninsured household members get fined at least $95/month, but more likely 1% of your annual taxable income. (NPR Article, “You Might Pay A Lot More...“)

So many different lifestyles, so much media drama.  Tax time is coming, too!  Don’t freak out.  It’s bad for your heart.

Here are 6 free, easy, one-on-one resources to get you through and even save you time, paperwork, and actual heart ache:

1.) In the West Park neighborhood, St. Paul AME is hosting free drop-in hours for  one-on-one assistance with a qualified enrollment specialist.  Anyone looking to get insured can get help, whether it is help buying insurance and comparing plans in the marketplace, seeing if you qualify for a subsidy, or help qualifying for Medicaid since the income guidelines have changed to include more people.  The drop-in hours are from 11am-2pm every Friday at their church and is open to non-members.  Their address is 4188 Brookside Blvd., Cleveland, OH 44135.  Call St. Paul’s for more information: (216) 941-6767.  They are even willing to share their specialist with other churches and organizations during the week or weekend if you want to call and arrange a time for a session at your organization.

2.) You can always call the United Way helpline at 2-1-1 to find out where the nearest and most convenient qualified enrollment specialist is near you.

#WestPark MyCom youth leaders belay and climb with the Cleveland Metroparks Youth Outdoors program.

3.) A special healthcare enrollment assistance event is in the evening on Thursday, March 20th at the West Park Community Coalition computer lab, located at 11897 Bellaire Road, Cleveland, OH, across from Second Calvary Missionary Baptist Church. 

4.) Neighborhood Family Practice is also doing drop-in enrollment sessions at their clinics with free one-on-one help, too.  No appointments needed.   Se habla espanol.  Call (216)281- 0872 for more information.

They have 3 locations for drop-in: 

Mondays at Ridge – 3569 Ridge Rd: from 12pm to 7pm

Tuesdays at Tremont – 2358 Professor Ave: from 12pm to 3pm

Wednesdays at Detroit-Shoreway – 6412 Franklin Blvd: from 12pm to 4pm


Saturdays at Ridge – 3569 Ridge Rd: from 12pm to 4pm (with Latino Enrollment outreach especially on Mar. 15 10am-3pm)

one armed wonder (broken arm on adult woman with green cast)5.) Cuyahoga Health Access Partnership (CHAP) has qualified people to assist you in obtaining health insurance, whichever fits your life best.  They can provide one-on-one assistance and are willing to come out to your church or organization to sign people up for insurance, no matter how long it takes.  Get more information on their website here: or give them a call at 1-888-929-CHAP (2427).  If CHAP is helping you do your online enrollment, they can even fix mistakes on the back-end once you have submitted your information if you realize you have made a mistake!  

6.) RG Jones parents, in particular, and others by available space, are invited to get free assistance enrolling in healthcare and shopping for the best deal at the school, provided by trained assistants from Neighborhood Family Practice on Thursday, March 20th from 2-4pm in the computer lab at RG  Jones.  RSVP with BPDC’s Mary Jo Cotner at 216-920-7143.  More details here.

***Just because you have never qualified for a subsidy or Medicaid before, doesn’t mean you don’t now.  The subsidies can even cover a family of 4 that earns over $90,000, so check it out!  Also, the Ohio has expanded Medicaid qualifications, so you don’t even need children to qualify and you can earn much more than previously allowed to qualify for Medicaid.

CHAP’s experience is that healthcare marketplace works best if you access it online.  They have been having glitch-free online applications for months now.  You can access the Ohio healthcare marketplace here: healthcare marketplace website  (It speeds up approval if you apply online.)

Don’t give up, you deserve to get all of the help you can.  Call 2-1-1 for more assistance from the United Way Helpline.


ReelTalk film series in West Park

Unrelated to healthcare enrollment, but along the lines of health, our neighborhood is hosting 2 parts of a 4 part documentary called “The Weight of a Nation” at Artemus Ward School as part of the Schools as Neighborhood Resources (SNR) program of Neighborhood Leadership Institute.  The program is called the ReelTalk film series.  Check out the complete schedule and details, even find a link to watch an episode online here: schedule and online viewing.

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