Legacy Community Health – keeping the Gulf Coast healthy
August 13, 2015
HOUSTON, TX – As part of National Health Center Week, Enroll America today recognized Legacy Community Health 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 Legacy Community Health have partnered to expand access to free 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 227,000 Harris County resident have enrolled in quality, affordable health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
“Legacy Community Health’s work has made them a true cornerstone of their community and a trusted resource to uninsured Houstonians,” said Mimi Garcia, State Director for Enroll America. “Thanks in part to their hard work, we’ve seen a dramatic decline in the uninsured rate in Harris County. But we know there’s more work to be done, and we’ll continue our efforts across the city to ensure that affordable health coverage becomes a way of life in Harris County.”
Legacy Community Health is a full-service, Federally Qualified Health Center that provides adult primary care, pediatrics, dental care, vision services, behavioral health services, OB/GYN and maternity, vaccinations and immunizations, health promotion and community outreach, wellness and nutrition, and comprehensive HIV/AIDS care. During the first and second enrollment periods of the Health Insurance Marketplace, Legacy Community Health partnered with Enroll America in town halls and enrollment events where Houstonians were able to address their health insurance concerns and enroll with Legacy Community Health’s in-person assisters.
We’re proud to work alongside Enroll America to empower our community and help everyone access quality care and health coverage,” said Melisa Garcia, Vice President of Clinical Business Services for Legacy Community Health. “We know that we play a critical role in the lives of many low income Houstonians, and they should know that we are here to help them get the care they need. “With the support of Enroll America, we will continue providing high quality, low cost care to the communities we serve.”
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 Legacy Community Health’s leadership and tireless effort, many Houstonians may face financial ruin from an unexpected illness or injury – or not be able to get care at all.”
If an uninsured Harris 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. Houstonians can use the Get Covered Connector at www.getcoveredamerica.org/connector to find and schedule an appointment with a free, in-person enrollment assister – including at Legacy Community Health – to get coverage right away.
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