Monday, October 16, 2017

Affordable Care Act and Health Insurance Enrollment 2017 - What Mpowerment Projects Can Do.

Everyone needs access to affordable health care, especially young adult bisexual and gay men. 

Young bisexual and gay men's lives are in transition. There is a lot going on. Moving out, being independent, finding a job and/or going to a University or Community College.  Why is it important to think about preventative health care?  Yes, well gay men are at increased risk for certain chronic diseases and mental health problems. HIV infections are also increasing among young adult gay and bisexual men.

Think about it, nobody should go broke because they become ill, need medications or break an arm. Let's make it a goal to get more young men enrolled in health insurance. 

Gains have been made the last few years, the uninsured rate for low and middle-income LGBTQ people has dropped by an overwhelming 35% since 2014, and more individual have access to medically necessary services they need, from life-saving HIV medications to transition-related care. 

But this progress is at risk!  This year the enrollment period has been cut in half from 90 days to only 45 days; enrollment advertising budget has been slashed by 90%; funds for in-person outreach and enrollment is down by 40%!  This will be a hardest year ever to make sure that LGBTQ people get the coverage they need and know their rights.

That's why your help is needed!

The upcoming open enrollment period begins on November 1 and ends on December 15, 2017 (in states using
  1. The enrollment deadline is December 15th (not January 31st as in recent years).
  2. You can still qualify for financial help to make premiums and out-of-pocket costs more affordable.
  3. You can still expect to be treated fairly and projected from discrimination

Mpowerment Long Island NYC | NY

Important Open Enrollment Deadlines 2017

  • November 1, 2017: Open Enrollment 2017 starts. This is the first day you can enroll, re-enroll, or change health plans for 2017.
  • December 15, 2017: You must enroll in or change health plans by this date for your health plan to start January 1, 2018. Last day to enroll in or change a 2017 health plan. After this date, you can enroll or change plans only if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.
  • January 1, 2018: 2017 insurance starts if you enrolled or changed plans by December 15.
Find someone nearby to help you to apply. Click me.

Save these dates...participate!
December 15th - Deadline for coverage that starts January 1st, 2018

We need your help to keep things moving in the right direction for young adults. What can your Mpowerment Project do to encourage enrollment in the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare?  Mpowerment Projects (MP) can bring awareness and information about enrolling in health insurance coverage to their participants. Let these helpful sites guide you.

The Affordable Care Act helps young adult gay and bisexual men living with HIV. Here are some of the many ways that Obamacare helps everyone living with HIV.  

The Q Austin | Mpowerment Texas
Mpowerment events: Your Mpowerment Project can host 'hot-topic' discussions on the importance of health insurance coverage and why young adult gay and bisexual men benefit from having health insurance. Share these stats. Have your Core Group and volunteers discuss ideas on how to get more young men enrolled in health care.  Host a Health-Insurance enrollment event with a local enrollment collaborator.  

Share on your social media!  Out 2 Enroll features a series of share-ables. They've got reminders about the start of enrollment, free in-person LGBTQ-friendly assisters, and more. (Facebook Twitter

Download and use this Social Media Kit:  Our friends at HHS have put together an awesome toolkit, which includes key Open Enrollment messages, graphics and video, a social media calendar and more. It will be updated throughout Open Enrollment and will be a one-stop shop for #GetCovered content.  Check it out here

Articles of interest / Articles to discuss with your participants.

"When Obamacare became law, many people didn’t know how it worked. Eight years later that’s still the case. As of February, one-third of Americans were unaware that it was the same thing as the Affordable Care Act. The effect was most pronounced among people under 30—which does not bode well for young people knowing how, when, and where to sign up for health care under the law."

    Wednesday, August 9, 2017

    The Mpowerment Project at USCA Washington DC 2017

    We are attending the United States Conference on AIDS (USCA) in Washington DC September 6-10, 2017. We look forward to meeting you! 

    What: United States Conference on AIDS (USCA) 2017: USCA
    Download the #2017USCA App.  via National Minority AIDS Council:  NMAC

    What is The Mpowerment Project? A bio-behavioral Community Level Intervention originally designed for young adult gay and bisexual men ages 18-29. 

    Here at the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies (CAPS), University California San Francisco (UCSF) we are members of the Capacity Building Assistance Provider Network. More.

    Follow the Mpowerment Project (MP) USCA adventures on twitter @mpCAPS #Mpowerment #2017USCA #USCA2017

    Join the Mpowerment Project USCA Facebook Fan Page for updates on Mpowerment related USCA information, Washington DC travel information and more. 


    This year two Mpowerment coordinators are youth scholars of the NMAC Youth Initiative. Kyle Rodriguez of Mpowerment New Haven CT and Richard Elliott of Project R.E.A.L.Mpowerment Asbury NJ. We couldn't be more proud!  


    Scroll down for the following information:
    • The Mpowerment Project Booth 705 location at USCA 2017.
    • Mpowerment (MP) Reunion and Affinity Session. 9/8 Friday 6:30pm. Magnolia Room - 2nd Floor. 
    • Workshops, panels and sessions of note: some hosted by current and former coordinators of Mpowerment Projects across the country.

      GO-GO MPowerRangers!
      Say Hi. Mpowerment USCA booth.

      When:  Thursday - Saturday. 

      Where: USCA Exhibit Hall Booth 705.

      Visit us at Booth 705. We represent the University California San Francisco's (UCSF) Capacity Building Assistance Partnership. We are part of a partnership that offers a wide range of HIV services. We provide Capacity Building Assistance (CBA) for Community Based Organizations and Health Departments. Have a question about CBA, HIV prevention or HIV research?  Contact us

      As members of the Capacity Building Network Partnership, with our colleagues at the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies (CAPS) UCSF Alliance Health Project and the Center of Excellence for Transgender Health we are hosting at Booth #705.  Be sure to stop by and say hello.  Pick up our free swag (pens, notepads, bags and more . . . )
      Click to Enlarge

      Mpowerment Project Coordinators across the country are holding shifts at Booth 705. They are here to answer your questions about Mpowerment implementation best practices. Drop by and meet them.

      Darrell is the Black MPowerRanger

      Thursday, September 7 - 2:45pm - 3:30pm Booth 705

      Darrell from The D.E.N.I.M Collection Mpowerment Washington DC will be sharing implementation best practices for young adult Black gay and bisexual men.
      (D)eveloping, (E)mpowering (N)ew (I)mages of (M)en D.E.N.I.M. is a young adult Mpowerment Project, a community-level HIV/STD prevention intervention that ties risk-reduction to the satisfaction of other needs, such as developing friendships, having fun and enhancing self-esteem.

      Fan The D.E.N.I.M. Collection on Facebook and Follow them on twitter.
      MORE: The D.E.N.I.M. Collection is a 'Model of Excellence' via NASTAD.

      Friday, September 8 - 1:00pm - 3:00pm Booth 705

      Elias is the Blue MPowerRanger

      Meet Elias from the M Factor Mpowerment El Paso,Texas.  The M Factor brings together young adult gay and bisexual men ages 18-29 for socializing, networking, community building and learning.

      Fan The M Factor on Facebook and Follow The M Factor on twitter.

      Saturday, September 9 2:00pm - 3:30pm Booth 705
      War is the Red MPowerRanger

      War from Project PAUZE Patterson New Jersey will be sharing Mpowerment Project implementation best practices for young adult men of color 18-29. "Project PAUZE is reducing the virus in our community, PAUZING stigma and stereotypes and spreading the word on safer sex. We provide a judgement-free space for gay and bisexual men of color to talk openly about sex, dating and relationships."

      Fan Project PAUZE on Facebook.  

      Donté is the Green MPowerRanger
      Saturday, September 9 3:30pm - 5pm Booth 705

      Meet Donté from the PowerHouse Mpowerment Charlotte, North Carolina.  Brotherhood through prevention, education & outreach.

      Fan The Power House on Facebook and Follow The PowerHouse Project on twitter.

      Tweet me
      Visit #Mpowerment at booth 705! Meet our colleagues @AHP_SF @UCSFCAPS #2017USCA 

      Darrell is sharing implementation best practices of @DenimInDC #Mpowerment DC. Thurs. 2:45-3:30pm @UCSFCAPS Booth 705 #2017USCA

      Elias is sharing implementation best practices of @MFactor915 #Mpowerment TX. Friday 1-3pm @UCSFCAPS Booth 705 #2017USCA

      Meet War of PAUZE Project #Mpowerment Paterson NJ Sat. 2-3:30pm. Share best practices! UCSF Booth705 #2017USCA 

      RECOMMENDED: Beginner twitter pro-tips - just in time for USCA!


      GO-GO! Mighty Mpowerment Reunion and Affinity Session.

      What: The Mighty Mpower Reunion and Affinity Session.  This year's theme: GO-GO! MPowerRangers!  Wear
       your MPowerRangers cosplay.  Order your own MPowerRanger t-shirt for only $6!  (NOT required). Stay connected with the MP reunion by joining the Facebook event here.

      Click to Enlarge
      Catch up with everyone involved in building healthy communities across the globe. Miss your fellow Mpowerment (MP) trainees? Interested in swapping best practices with other MPs? We've got you covered. Come play with us.

      When:  Friday, September 8th at 6:30pm.

      Where: Magnolia Room - 2nd Floor. 

      Who: Everyone is welcome...funders, CDC staff, all USCA attendees, supervisors, coordinators and participants. Anyone interested in HIV prevention for and by bisexual and gay men.

      Follow the Reunion event page for news, updates and other news: Facebook event link.

      Hosts: Coming soon

      Tweet me 

      Join us at the #Mpowerment Reunion & Affinity. FB event:  Everyone Welcome!

      Join us for the Mpowerment Affinity & Reunion Friday 9/8 6:30pm at #2017USCA #NMACYouth17 Fb Link:


      SESSIONS OF NOTE.  Be sure to attend these sessions: 

      Poster Presentation: Gayming at Work: Creative Effective Engagement for YSMS of Color.
      Friday, September 8th 1:30-2:00pm & Saturday, September 9th 1:30pm. Meeting Level 4, Foyer.
      via Latinos Salud | SOMOS Mpowerment Wilton Manors FL

      Legend-ins & Young-ins - An Intergenerational Dialogue of Leaders. 
      Saturday, September 9, 2017 2:00-4:00pm - Dupont Circle Room, Meeting Level 3
      NMAC’s Youth Initiative believes in community empowerment and engagement. That's why this year they invite all interested conference attendees to join an in-depth dialogue on leadership. This open-door session is designed to create a shared opportunity for participants to discuss the importance of working in collaboration across the generational space in HIV leadership. The dialogue will look at how the community has shaped programs, policies, and advocacies to meet the needs of people of all ages who are living with HIV. Seasoned and youth advocates will present key concerns and challenges in creating a shared vision to identify meaningful solutions in the HIV epidemic.

      Session Speakers: Gina Brown, Kahlib J Barton, Vanessa Johnson, Venton C. Jones Jr, Farah Jeune, Kamaria Laffrey, Peter McLody 

      SOCIAL MEDIA LAB.  Get tips on how to leverage digital technology through's Social Media Lab.  Stop by to talk one-on-one with an expert that can help you better understand and use your social media. More. 


      Stop by BOOTH 712 and meet the National CPN Resource Center staff. You can grab a map of our CBA provider exhibits, pick up some fun D.C. swag and get your souvenir photo taken. 

      Tuesday, June 13, 2017

      6 Mpowerment Best Practices using Twitter & Snapchat

      Twitter is excellent for disseminating information and letting your followers stay in the know with your latest events and programmatic updates. Think of Twitter as your platform for quick updates, GIFS, and a space to identify trends. Here are a few best practices The Q Austin uses on Twitter:

      Click to enlarge
                 Post it to Twitter 1st
      When you have an announcement or promo share it on Twitter prior to other platforms. Users expect news on Twitter, so give the children what they want! At the Q, we also love retweeting LGBTQ breaking news and fresh celebrity gossip!  

      Use the GIF keyboard
      Twitter has the option to search and add numerous GIFs to your tweets! Search and select one of these moving images to add some energy to your tweet and, hopefully, increase your engagement!  GIF search on twitter.

      Engage with your community
      Twitter allows connections between a wide range of people both international and local. Most brands look to twitter as a bridge to their customers (current & potential) around the world and for all intentional purposes consider the handle a customer service opportunity. For The Q, I have found that quickly replying to my mentions and participating in Twitter chats are the most effective way to foster engagement.

      Another great way to engage with your audience is to utilize Twitter’s trending hashtags.
      If you are on your phone, open your app and from your “me” tab press the 🔍 as if you were to search for something and all the trending hashtags will appear for you to explore. On a desktop, go to your “home” tab and they will all appear inside a box on the left-hand side of your monitor.  Connect with other MPs by using #Mpowerment.

      While it’s nice to review someone’s best practices, make sure you don’t make these mistakes.


      Snapchat is a platform that has revolutionized social and has been challenging for some to realize how to present Project content that is relevant to the platform’s audience, while also being worth the energy invested into the app. Raw video is hugely popular. In fact, more people use Snapchat than Twitter in terms of daily usage

      Here are the best practices I have found to work at The Q Austin:

           Tell A Story
      It’s important to consider your end goal when planning and posting your Mpowerment’s content on Snapchat. Especially when posting to “my story," you will need to have a beginning, middle, and end. Ways that I implement this strategy is by giving a brief description of what event I’m promoting in my first posted snap, then main content, followed by an invite for viewers to join us at our next event. 

      1   Create Geofilters
      For National HIV Testing Day in 2016, I was able to run 2 different geofilters Marcus and I created to encourage clients to reach their friends with a message about taking the test and knowing their status. It cost us $5 per filter to be set up around our testing locations and we had testing staff and flier to let people know that there was an available geofilter around them.

      Take Overs
      Fairly often I give access of The Q’s account to our core group members, so we continue to keep our content exciting and relevant. I go over expectations and best practices with them such as avoiding profanity, nudity, or personal identifying information of clients. Also, I review the content they’re creating from my account to ensure everything posted is appropriate content. If anything needs to be removed it can be done by going to the story, selecting the snap to delete, and then hitting the trash can icon.

      For more about video content and “going live” on other platforms, check out this blog post

      via Taylor Stockett, Social Media Coordinator, the Q Austin. 

      RELATED: 6 Facebook and Twitter tips for your Mpowerment.

      RELATED: Coordinators get the word out.  Developing a publicity plan.