Trocaire College Counselor & Coordinator of Disability Services Lauren Ellis represented the college on a visit the White House earlier this year. She made the trip to participate in Healthy Campus Challenge Day, which celebrated colleges around the country that worked to increase health insurance coverage among their students.
In an effort to reach more uninsured young people and help them gain coverage from the Health Insurance Marketplace before Jan. 31—the final open enrollment deadline of the Obama administration—the White House launched the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Healthy Campus Challenge in September 2016.
“Campuses opted in by agreeing to undertake a series of best practices, like emailing all students and faculty with information about open enrollment, amplifying deadlines on social media, holding enrollment events, and producing creative online content to reach community members,” the White House explained in its coverage of the event.
White House staff members worked with college administrators, students, faculty, staff, alumni, local community leaders, and elected officials across the country to spread the word about open enrollment, sharing best practices with them. More than 350 colleges from all 50 states, Washington, D.C and Puerto Rico participated, and 100 of those—including Trocaire—completed all the criteria.
On Jan. 13, representatives from 60 of the participating colleges flocked to the White House to celebrate the initiative’s efforts, brainstorm and collaborate with each other on future efforts, topped off by a photo with First Lady Michelle Obama. The entire day’s events were livestreamed, and the video is archived for anyone to view if they wish.
Ellis spearheaded all of the #GetCovered efforts at Trocaire, and said she was honored to take part in the Healthy Campus Challenge Day.
“It was such a great opportunity to attend this event, and take a photo with the First Lady!” She said. “I felt so lucky to be there and was proud to represent Trocaire following all our work over the last few months to help our students make informed decisions about their health insurance coverage.”