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Access to Healthcare Coalition
The Access to Health Care Coalition, facilitated by United Way, provides a forum for health care providers, agencies, governement representatives and volunteers to work together to ensure better access to services, including medical care, dental care and behavioral health services. The group shares ideas, develops education material and will focuss on supporting whatever emerges from the health care reform process. For more information or to join this group, contact the United Way office at 360-457-3011 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A New Way to Get Health Insurance
Starting October 1st, there will be a new way to get health insurance in our state: Washington Healthplanfinder, a customer-friendly online marketplace. At wahealthplanfinder.org, you can find, compare and enroll in a health plan that fits your needs and budget. In-Person Assisters will be available in your area to answer questions and help you enroll.
All health plans offered through Washington Healthplanfinder include basic benefits like doctor visits, prescriptions, maternity care, emergency care and preventive care like cancer screenings and vaccinations. No one will be denied coverage because they are sick or because they have a pre-existing condition.
And depending on how much you earn, you may qualify for tax credits or financial help to pay for copays and premiums. Free and low-cost coverage is also available.
Visit www.wahealthplanfinder.org to learn more and enroll.
Why is this important?
Health Access Talking Points developed by Access to Health Care Coalition members:
- Over 49.1 million Americans are uninsured and another 16 million are underinsured
- In 2004, Elizabeth Warren of Harvard Law School published a study showing that 50% of all personal bankruptcies follow a medical crisis. And of those people filing personal bankruptcy, 75% had health insurance (“Sick and Broke”, Elizabeth Warren, Miami Herald, 2/12/2005)
- Insurance is tied to employment in the USA. If you lose your job, you lose your insurance. Health insurance should be portable and lifelong.
- The U.S. is the only developed country that does not offer universal health coverage to its residents. Plus the USA has higher infant mortality and lower life expectancy rates than the other developed countries with universal coverage. (United Nations UNDP Human Development Report, 9/7/05)
- People who have insurance now are already paying for the uninsured through higher insurance premiums - on average, 11.6% of wages are spent on health insurance.
- There are more than 9 million children (one in nine) in the USA who are uninsured. (www.childrenshealthcampaign.org)
- Health care costs are draining municipal and school budgets all over the country (check your local area to see what percentage of their costs is going to health care coverage of their employees.)
- Small businesses are straining to provide any coverage at all for their employees, thus making them less competitive.
- Physicians for a National Healthcare Program (PNHP) maintains that with a single payer system (like “Medicare for All” the U.S. could save almost $350 billion in total health care costs while providing universal coverage for all. (www.pnhp.org)