Scenic Bluffs Community Health Center Insurance Help Team
- Need: To help inform western Wisconsin residents about their health insurance options under the Affordable Care Act.
- Intervention: Certified application counselors provide assistance in outreach locations around the region.
- Results: In the past year, more than 1,000 people received guidance on health insurance through this program, with 253 individuals enrolling in health insurance.
Scenic Bluffs Community Health Centers is an independent, non-profit healthcare provider serving western Wisconsin. As a Community Health Center, Scenic Bluffs not only provides healthcare within their doors, but also focuses on reducing health barriers throughout the communities they serve. They offer a wide range of primary care and complementary therapies, as well as support services to assist and guide people with their day-to-day needs.
In order to help people in their service area learn how
to get coverage and understand the health insurance
options available under the
Affordable Care Act, Scenic Bluffs offers a
coordinated health insurance outreach and enrollment
The health center employs Patient Access Coordinators, known as their Help Team, that can help remove barriers to care. The Help Team guides individuals through locating, understanding, and obtaining healthcare benefits, insurance, transportation needs and prescription drug programs. They can also provide information on area food pantries, thrift stores, community care applications, and other local agencies. Additionally, the team has Certified Application Counselors (CACs) that can screen for eligibility in various assistance programs and help you enroll in health insurance through The Marketplace (Affordable Care Act) or BadgerCare Plus (Wisconsin Medicaid/Forward Health). Help Team services are available in Cashton and Norwalk, or by phone. Help Team Services are free and available to everyone, regardless of whether they are a patient of Scenic Bluffs.
In 2021, Scenic Bluff's CAC enrolled 253 individuals in health insurance. These free services are available for patients and community members. Help Team staff assisted more than 1,000 people
with various enabling service needs.
Those interested in starting a similar outreach program
may want to consider these lessons learned:
- The program had minimal success with enrollment
events at computer labs. Near the end of the enrollment
period, these had better turnouts, but early on, there
was little interest.
- Scenic Bluffs tried placing informational booths with
staff around the community at off-hours, primarily at
school sporting events. Not many people approached with
questions at these venues.
- Retrieving lost usernames and passwords can be
difficult because Marketplace does not give that
information over the phone.
- Procrastination to enroll will always be a problem.
Early promotion should be a priority to help people get
signed up on time.
Rural providers who want to help people find out about
health insurance options should:
- Gather information to become educated enough to
identify people who should be accessing the Health
Insurance Marketplace or Medicaid.
- Be prepared to provide the information to patients.
- Know where people can access a CAC and refer to that
- Reach out to a local health center to inquire if they employ a CAC. Consider partnering and request their help at your
Benefit enrollment and application
Federally Qualified Health Centers
May 22, 2014
Date updated or reviewed
October 13, 2022
Suggested citation: Rural Health Information Hub,
Scenic Bluffs Community Health Center Insurance Help Team [online]. Rural Health Information Hub. Available at:
[Accessed 5 February 2023]
Please contact the models and innovations contact directly for the most complete and current information
about this program. Summaries of models and innovations are provided by RHIhub for your convenience. The
programs described are not endorsed by RHIhub or by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. Each rural
community should consider whether a particular project or approach is a good match for their community’s
needs and capacity. While it is sometimes possible to adapt program components to match your resources, keep
in mind that changes to the program design may impact results.