CentroMed Honored by Enroll America for National Health Center Week
August 13, 2015
San Antonio, TX – As part of National Health Center Week, Enroll America today recognized CentroMed for their work to help low income and medically-underserved communities get the care they need, educate the community about their health coverage options, and enroll the uninsured in quality coverage.
National Health Center Week aims to create awareness of health center programs and the invaluable work they do in communities across the country to ensure Americans at every income level can get access to affordable health care. Enroll America and CentroMed have partnered to expand access to in-person enrollment assisters to help the uninsured find a plan that fits their needs and budget, and due in part to their work, nearly 100,000 Bexar and Comal County residents have enrolled in quality, affordable health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
“CentroMed’s work has made them a true cornerstone of their community and a trusted resource to uninsured San Antonio area residents,” said Mimi Garcia, Texas State Director for Enroll America. “Thanks in part to their hard work, we’ve seen a dramatic decline in the uninsured rate in Bexar County. But we know there’s more work to be done, and we’ll continue our efforts across the region to ensure that affordable health coverage becomes a way of life in San Antonio and the surrounding areas.”
CentroMed is a nonprofit health center that provides adult primary care, pediatrics, dental care, behavioral health services, OB/GYN, family planning and immunizations among other services. During the second enrollment period that ended last spring, CentroMed partnered with Enroll America in several enrollment events where CentroMed’s bilingual Certified Application Counselors provided application assistance to Bexar and Comal residents seeking health insurance.
“We’re proud to work alongside Enroll America to empower our community and help everyone access quality care and health coverage,” said Dr. Ernesto Gómez, President and CEO of CentroMed. “We know that we play a critical role in the lives of many low income San Antonio area residents, and our community members know that we are here to help them get the care they need. With the help of partners like Enroll America, we’re going to continue providing high quality, low cost care to whoever needs it.”
According to the National Association of Community Health Centers, over 22 million people nationwide use health centers as their medical and health care home, and that number is rapidly growing. 72% of people who use health centers live at or below the federal poverty level, tend to be members of minority groups, and more than 75% are either uninsured or have coverage through Medicaid.
Health centers are especially critical because they remove barriers that may cause a patient to be unaware of their treatment options, not seek treatment for an illness or injury, or make it impossible for them to seek treatment altogether. For instance, community health centers are open to all residents regardless of their insurance status, offer transportation and other services to make accessing care easier, and are located in identified high-need areas with higher poverty levels and infant mortality where fewer physicians practice.
“Health centers are often the only resource people have to get information about their health and the treatment they need,” said Mimi Garcia. “Without CentroMed’s leadership and tireless effort, many San Antonio area residents may face financial ruin from an unexpected illness or injury – or not be able to get care at all.”
Moving into the fall, Enroll America and CentroMed will continue to partner as they have been with the Enroll SA Coalition to help families enroll in health coverage through the Affordable Care Act.
If an uninsured Bexar County resident experiences a life-changing event, like having a baby, getting married, or moving, among other circumstances, this year before enrollment opens again in November, they may qualify for a special enrollment period. If they are eligible for Medicaid they can enroll year-round. San Antonio area residents can use the Get Covered Connector at http://enrollsa.com/enroll-now/ to find and schedule an appointment with a free, in-person enrollment assister – including at CentroMed – to get coverage right away.
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