Guest Blog: Regan Hunt, Kentucky Voices for Health – Health Coverage for better Health Outcomes

December 2, 2013

The Louisville community has over 100,000 uninsured residents. Kentucky Voices for Health is spearheading a statewide project called Get Covered Kentucky. Get Covered Kentucky works in communities to educate people on how and where they can enroll in health coverage. One of the biggest efforts to improve health in our community is going on right now—open enrollment for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Having health coverage is strongly related to better health outcomes for both children and adults.  Our community’s first step to dramatically improve health outcomes is making sure that people have health coverage.  According to a Mathematica Policy Research brief, the relationship between health coverage and better health outcomes is stronger when health care is affordable, and helps consumers use care appropriately.

Uninsured people with chronic conditions are less likely to get needed care or have regular checkups. Likewise, uninsured people without chronic or pre-existing conditions do not get routine care like insured people. As a result, uninsured people use emergency department visits as their primary care providers. This gives them no continuous coverage and no real health stability, two factors that perpetuate poor health outcomes.

Having health coverage opens doors to over 100,000 Louisville residents. Families will be able to find a local health provider that will help when someone is sick and will help prevent health problems before they happen. In Louisville, we’re working with the local Board of HealthMetro Health and Wellness, Kentuckiana Regional Planning & Development Agency (KIPDA), Family Health CentersMetro ParksMetro Community Services and Revitalization, and many other local community-based organizations to spread the word about how and where people can get enrolled in health coverage. We are encouraged by all of these groups working together with one purpose—to get Kentuckians covered.

Kentucky Voices for Health encourages everyone without health coverage to learn about health coverage options. Visit kynect, Kentucky’s Health Care Connection, and let’s get Louisville and Kentucky covered.

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