NVFS Recruiting Volunteers To Help Clients with Health Care Enrollment

(Oakton, Va. – September 25, 2015)  Northern Virginia Family Service (NVFS) is once again helping families in Northern Virginia enroll in a health insurance plan under the Affordable Care Act. The nonprofit organization will train volunteers to become Certified Application Counselors (CACs), who provide in-person assistance to people enrolling in health insurance through the Virginia Healthcare Marketplace during the upcoming open enrollment period: Nov. 1, 2015, through Jan. 31, 2016. CAC volunteers work one-on-one with individuals and families to help them understand their health coverage options, help them get enrolled in a qualified health care plan and understand their benefits.

Since the Affordable Care Act was passed, NVFS and its CAC team have helped thousands of local families enroll in health insurance over the last two years. This past spring, NVFS CACs were recognized by Fairfax County as the 2015 Volunteer Program of the Year. “Health care, along with jobs, affordable housing and child care, is one of the lynchpins to helping families improve their stability,” says NVFS President and CEO Stephanie Berkowitz. “When most of us have the flu, we see a doctor. When we have an accident, we go to the emergency room. For our neighbors without health care, this may not be an option. NVFS is committed to healthy and stable families, which is why we remain committed to helping Virginians find coverage.”

CAC volunteers see firsthand the difference they are making in people’s lives. As one volunteer said: “I feel like I really helped people, instead of just wishing that I could help others.” What another volunteer liked most about their experience was ”being successful at helping folks find a solution to their insurance problem. Seeing how excited they are to get coverage, usually for the first time.”

To become a CAC, volunteers take a self-guided online training program, submit an NVFS Volunteer Application form and complete orientation, and are then certified by NVFS as a Certified Application Counselor (CAC). CAC volunteers assist various non-profit organizations in Northern Virginia who are conducting Open Enrollment events in Fairfax, Loudon and Prince William counties. Volunteers are asked to commit to at least four enrollment events. Ongoing support and training is provided by NVFS. Spanish, Arabic and Urdu speakers are especially needed.

To learn more about this opportunity, volunteer information sessions will be held at these locations:

Oct. 5, 2015 4 – 5:30 p.m. Falls Church, VA
Oct. 6, 2015 7 –  8:30 p.m. Sterling, VA

To register for an information session and for a volunteer application, email Terry Goplerud, Marketplace Coordinator at tgoplerud@nvfs.org.

Please consider volunteering and helping your friends, neighbors and fellow Virginians successfully navigate the health insurance marketplace.