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“I think in Kalamazoo County we are fortunate that there are a lot of collaborations and agencies that do often come together for reasons like this”.

Rachel works for a program that is focused on the realm of women’s health. Women who qualify to be a part of the program need to meet an income threshold; there are also eligibility requirements in regards to age and current insurance coverage. Rachel’s work environment looked demanding but welcoming. She wanted to make sure that women where getting the best care that they could receive. Rachel was interviewed in her office that was organized and simple. Rachel stepped away from her desk and sat down at a circular table and was open to speak about how the Affordable Care Act was affecting the clients that she and her colleagues work with. Rachel spoke about how the Affordable Care Act and Healthy Michigan are including more aspects of health for both men and women. Both the Affordable Care Act and Healthy Michigan are providing health insurance to people who did not have insurance prior or did not have adequate insurance.

According to Rachel,  “A lot of people will be able to get some basic screenings services, annual physicals things that they weren’t able to access before, so that is awesome”.  Rachel expects that the number of the women that she and her colleagues serve will decrease because both the Affordable Care Act and Healthy Michigan are expanding women’s health in particular. When speaking about the program Rachel’s face and tone of voice project pride and sincere happiness about the importance of the program. Rachel believes there will be some changes in the program that she works for and that in the next years they will be working to support women who may not be completely covered by Affordable Care Act or Healthy Michigan. Yet, they will also target different populations since so many women are receiving more full coverage. Rachel still is concerned about continuity of care.  She said, “Women are reluctant to sign up for Healthy Michigan plan, because they may not be able to stay with the same doctor they have used in the past or people have told us that they have chosen not to sign up for health insurance because they can’t afford it. There are still some gaps to fill in the awkwardness of the transition as well as the concern of which providers will accept this health care”.  Nevertheless, Rachel said it is also a great relief to know that there is a net of support for those women who may need assistance in paying for their health prevention or treatments.

 

 

Notes from interview with Rachel:

  • For the future I think we will focus more on serving women with inadequate insurance.
  • Staff will be looking at filling new roles, for example helping people transition in the Medicaid Program – helping costumers.
  • Gather information about women who are transitioning and getting health care or buying insurance and no longer need serves that provided by these anonymous workers.
  • “A lot of people will be able to get some basic screenings services, annual physicals things that they weren’t able to access before, so that is awesome”
  • What she has heard because she works specifically with women is that “Women are reluctant to sign up for Healthy Michigan plan because they may not be able to stay with the same doctor they have used in the past or people have told us that they have chosen not to sign up for health insurance because they can’t afford it so there are still some gaps to fill in the awkwardness of the transition”.
  • Note: Especially for these women it is important and a comfort concern to stay with the same doctor. If women are able to stay with their doctors and they were just not informed of it then that is misinformation or lack of information that has made people reluctant – so ways that Enroll Kalamazoo can improve is by explaining how the idea of primary care providers work etc.
  • “Health centers are very busy trying to sign people up for healthy Michigan plan, help people with the transition to insurance, and absorbs a lot of the services because things are shifting for private providers”.
  • “We have heard some for private providers who were smaller clinics that were affiliated with hospital that they were can’t always participate with some of the Medicaid HMO’s. There will be shifting for patients in regards to figuring out who their new doctor has to be and providers are, I think struggling with that is a concern and I don’t know how it is all going to play out”.
  • Note: We talked about the issue of providers not accepting Medicaid because of both complications of reimbursement and inadequate reimbursements.
  • “I think in Kalamazoo County we are fortunate that there are a lot of collaborations and that agencies do often come together for reasons like this”.
  • “Enroll Kalamazoo is just another example of people stepping up to the plate, realizing that this effort stands to gives us a lot of progress for the future”.

 

 

This person would like to remain anonymous and the name has also been changed to protect their identity.

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