How to Access Health Care Services in Your Community
A Guide for Faith and Community Leaders
There are millions of Americans who lack access to health care in the United States, which is essential for healthy children, families and communities. As leaders of faith and community-based organizations, you play essential roles in your community’s health. You are often the link between those who are most vulnerable and hardest-to-reach and the health services they need. Below are resources on health benefits and services for those in need in your congregation and community.
Insurance Options and the Affordable Care Act: www.HealthCare.gov helps you find health care insurance options, including private insurance, Medicare and Medicaid. The website also provides information on the Affordable Care Act and explains when provisions of the law are in effect. The website explains benefits for seniors, young adults, families and children, people with disabilities, individuals and employers.
Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Medicaid: www.InsureKidsNow.gov provides information on how children and teens may qualify for no-cost or low-cost health insurance coverage through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. To learn about health coverage for children and teens in your state, call 1-877-Kids-Now (1-877-543-7669).
CHIP services usually cover doctor visits, prescription drugs, emergency care, hospital care, vaccinations, vision, hearing and dental care. In general, children in families with incomes up to $44,100/year (for a family of four) are likely to be eligible for coverage. In many states, families can have higher incomes and their children can still qualify.
Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP): www.pcip.gov provides information on how individuals who are uninsured for the past six months, have a pre-existing condition, and are a U.S. citizen or legal resident can obtain insurance coverage. Administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the program covers primary and specialty care, hospital care and prescription drugs. The health plan is the same offered to federal employees.
Community Health Centers: http://bphc.hrsa.gov/ provides information on how to find your local community health center. Community health centers provide health care on a sliding scale for people with no or low incomes and is a resource for people with insurance as well. Services include primary, oral and mental health care. Information about nutrition and healthy living is also available at community health centers.
Mental Health Services: http://store.samhsa.gov/mhlocatorprovides information about finding mental health resources in your community.