Nurses are essential to providing quality primary care to underserved communities
A Special Message for nurses from
RADM Deborah Parham Hopson, Ph.D., R.N., FAAN
Senior Advisor for HIV/AIDS Policy, Health Resources and Services Administration
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Whether or not African American and other uninsured patients will be able to benefit from the new health care reform law depends in no small part on what each of us does to get the word out in our communities. We have heard the statistics about health disparities; we often have higher rates of disease and are less likely to receive preventive care services. In addition, more than 20% of African-Americans are uninsured. So getting health insurance is especially important for the African-American community as it will allow many to gain access to previously unattainable health care services. About 90% of the currently uninsured will get some health insurance premium assistance in the new Marketplaces!
Nurses are essential to providing quality primary care to underserved communities. And we know that African American nurses are esteemed leaders and change agents with a high level of respect within our families and communities. Therefore, we need to capitalize on that authority by galvanizing our family members and patients to enroll in the ACA. The success of the Affordable Care Act and its expansion of access to health care would not be possible without you. The Marketplace will help millions of Americans find health insurance that fits their budget and meets their needs. With a single Marketplace application, individuals can see if anyone in their family qualifies for Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or savings they can use right away to lower their health insurance premiums.
So what can you do to help? There are three things you can do right now.
1. Visit Marketplace.cms.gov, where you’ll find brochures to share with colleagues and distribute at churches, mosques, schools and other community venues; posters, application checklists, fact sheets, and more. Marketplace.cms.gov is the website for health care providers – YOU!
2. Encourage your family, patients, students, and other community members to visit HealthCare.gov to set up an account and explore enrollment options. Assistance is available in more than 150 languages 24/7 toll-free at
1-800-318-2596. It is incredibly important get the word out to and enroll people age 18-35 i.e. your students, your siblings, your children.
3. Write a message for health center, hospital and other community newsletters, church, synagogue or mosque bulletins and local and school newspapers. We need you to help spread the word about the Health Insurance Marketplace – the new way for Americans to get coverage.
Remember – open enrollment begins October 1, 2013. Coverage begins January 1, 2014.
Thank you for all that you do.
Resources to help with the Implementation of the Affordable Care Act from the Health Resources and Services Administration
Health Insurance Marketplace Basics
· The Health Insurance Marketplace is the new way for Americans to get healthcare coverage according to their budget and needs. Open enrollment begins October 1, 2013 online at Healthcare.gov, by phone at 1-800-318-2596, or in person at local health centers and other facilities.
· With a single Marketplace application, individuals can see if anyone in their family qualifies for Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or savings to lower their health insurance premiums and out-of-pocket costs.