The Healthy Lee Lifestyle Coalition’s Access to Healthcare and Improve Health Literacy subcommittee presented a health plan workshop for an unhoused community this summer. Held at the Empowerment Center in July, “Health Is Wealth” provided information about healthcare and insurance to our community residents and underserved members.
Barbara Saxton, chair of the subcommittee and President of Smart Choices Health, recognized the need for this event. She discussed the idea with Heather Cross, CEO of the Empowerment Center, to gauge community interest in the endeavor. Given the green light, Barbara researched the best way to reach this audience. Assisted by the subcommittee members, Providence Family Life Center and The Health Planning Council of Southwest Florida (HPCSWFL), Barbara, and her partners developed the Health Is Wealth event.
The workshop began with an overview of the importance of healthcare, why having a primary care physician matters, and the value healthcare plans offer their participants. After these introductory presentations, attendees learned about the different levels of healthcare plans available.
Enrollment was a success, according to Heather Cross. More than 30 community members attended the event, which answered attendees’ questions, and helped three people complete and submit their health care insurance enrollment, including one who successfully submitted their application to Medicaid.
Future Health Plan Workshops will be offered. The events typically will feature a 45-60-minute presentation that:
- Discusses the importance of seeking healthcare and why individuals may wish to make their healthcare a priority.
- Reviews different chronic diseases and the types of specialists who treat them (or other timely topics).
- Discusses why and how people should acquire health insurance.
- Explains the different levels of insurance offered through the marketplace or ACA, including plans that may not have any cost.
- Offers event attendees enrollment assistance, provided by health plan navigators.
The HPCSWF Health Insurance Navigators’ services are free and unbiased. These health plan experts:
- Help consumers prepare applications for acquiring coverage through the insurance marketplaces and ACA, including determining their eligibility and possible qualification for an insurance affordability program.
- Provide outreach and education to raise awareness about the marketplaces and refer consumers to assistance programs when necessary.
- Assist consumers beyond the enrollment process to ensure they have the tools and resources to maintain their health coverage currently and in the future.
- Assist consumers with Medicaid applications.
Finally, attendees receive a list of area physicians accepting new patients at the end of each event. In some instances, a scheduler may be on-site to help schedule an enrollee’s first primary care appointment.
The Healthy Lee Lifestyle Coalition consists of 120 organizations, including universities, social service and governmental agencies, local businesses and others who are passionate about lessening social gaps within our community. Through our work, based on the results of the 2020 triennial Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA), we collaborate to create innovative ways of serving our community, especially our vulnerable population.
If you would like to schedule a Health Plan Workshop event consultation in your underserved area, please reach out to HealthyLee.com and click the “Contact” tab at the top right of the page.