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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, government 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 focus 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 email@example.com.
A New Way to Get Health Insurance
Several years ago, Washington State launched a new way to access health insurance: the 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. You can also enroll for insurance by contacting most insurance agents and you can get help signing up for Apple Health by contacting Volunteers In Medicine of the Olympics at 360-457-4431.
Why is Access to Health Care 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)
What are Access to Health Care Coalition Goals?
- Primary goal is to convene different organizations for exchange of health access related information
- Serve in a public advocacy role
- Promote wellness and educate the public on health improvement
- Networking to identify and define access issues and gaps in health areas including physical, behavioral, oral, environmental and community health
- Help identify potential solutions and partners
- Identify opportunities for collaborations that address issuesAddress regional issues both globally and on a case by case basis
- Monitor impacts of changes in ACA and other public policy changes and take action as needed