FOUR SMALL THINGS TO DO TODAY TO CONNECT YOUR COMMUNITY TO HEALTHCARE
More than 10 years ago, Springboard for the Arts began working to connect our community to healthcare with an Artists’ Health Fair and a Voucher Program. These are worthwhile endeavors and we’ve created full toolkits to share and replicate the programs. But these aren’t the only ways to connect your community to care. Today we’re launching a Teeny Toolkit for Healthcare that has 4 small things you can do today.
REACH OUT TO A HEALTH INSURANCE NAVIGATOR
Navigating how to get, and keep insured, is really complex. People can’t sign-up for or switch their insurance whenever they want. There are also new discounts and application processes to work through. But there are people, called Navigators, who are trained to provide free help! You can find Navigators across the country here: https://localhelp.healthcare.gov/
Once you’ve connected with a Navigator, tell them about your community’s needs and ask if they can help. Can you refer your community to them? Can you partner on an event to help your community sign up for insurance? Can you invite your community to attend their events?
FIND A LOW-COST CLINIC
Regardless of insurance status, healthcare can still be prohibitively expensive. Even insured people still avoid needed care for fear of the cost. That’s why federally qualified health centers, which are more commonly referred to as “low-cost clinics,” exist. They often look like any other clinic, but offer discounts on their healthcare for people who qualify for them based on income. Find them here: https://findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/
Once you’ve connected with a clinic, tell them about your community’s needs and ask if they’re able to help. Can you refer your community to their clinic? Can you invite your community to attend their events?
INCORPORATE HEALTH INFO INTO WHAT YOU ALREADY DO
It doesn’t take a radical shift in thinking to connect your community to healthcare. Think of ways you can naturally introduce healthcare information into what you already do. At Springboard for the Arts, we keep lots of resource lists on our website, so it was easy for us to add resources for low-cost healthcare and health insurance. Instead of organizing a Health Fair, invite health resources to your existing Resource Fairs or events. Do what feels natural!
ASK HOW YOU CAN MAKE HEALTHCARE MORE AFFORDABLE
Simply making the connection to a low-cost clinic can be transformational, but it can also help to provide more incentive. Can your organization help cover a bit of the cost – say $40 – for someone to go the doctor? Then, maybe you decide to start a Voucher Program.
But that’s not the only way to reduce the cost of care for your community. We’ve had chiropractors and acupuncturists provide discounted visits to our community. These discounts don’t cost us anything, they’re easy to offer and can help the business build a client base. So it doesn’t hurt to ask!
Remember: You don’t have to know everything there is to know about getting healthcare and health insurance. Small steps, such as connecting with health resources in your community, can do a world of good. Please keep in touch and let us know how we can help!
Nikki Hunt is the Program Director- Health at Springboard for the Arts, reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org