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Help educate community about new health insurance options

Posted: Wednesday, September 18, 2013 · Volume: XLVI · Issue: 19

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Ruth Berggren, M.D., director of the Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics, invites UT Health Science Center faculty, staff and students to help educate the community about the new health insurance options that will become available Oct. 1 as part of the Affordable Care Act.
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Ruth Berggren, M.D., director of the Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics, invites UT Health Science Center faculty, staff and students to help educate the community about the new health insurance options that will become available Oct. 1 as part of the Affordable Care Act.clear graphic

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By Sheila Hotchkin

Teams from the UT Health Science Center San Antonio will head out into the community in coming months to educate Bexar County residents on the new health insurance options available under the federal Affordable Care Act enacted in 2010.

Workshop Sept. 28
On Saturday, Sept. 28, the Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics at the Health Science Center will host an educational session for students, faculty and staff interested in volunteering to be Champions for Coverage. The session will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the School of Nursing’s Hurd Auditorium. Those interested in participating should register at www.champsforcoverage.eventbrite.com.

Partnering in the community
Organizers are looking for people who, once trained, are willing to devote two evenings, or at least six hours, a month to the project during the open-enrollment period for the online Health Insurance Marketplace, from Oct. 1 through March 31. Participants will divide into teams and partner with community organizations in outreach efforts.

300,000 could be newly eligible for health coverage
“Champion for Coverage” is a role created by the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to educate Americans about new health coverage options.

An estimated 300,000 currently uninsured Bexar County residents may become eligible for coverage when the Health Insurance Marketplace opens on Oct. 1, according to the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District.

Opening the door to health care
“This is about leading people back into the safety net. There is no patient-doctor relationship if the patient can’t get in the door,” said Ruth Berggren, M.D., director of the Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics and a professor in the School of Medicine. “This is experiential learning at its best. Students will learn about barriers to health care in our community even as they work to remove those barriers.”

Metro Health Director Thomas Schlenker, M.D., M.P.H., is scheduled to speak at the session, along with Teresa Niño, director of the Office of Public Engagement at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Community service learning in action
“Champions for Coverage” is a community service learning project of the Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics, pairing structured, mentored learning and partnership with community organizations. The purpose for students is to learn about systems of coverage and barriers to health care within the San Antonio community. Key partners in this project include University Health System and the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District.

 
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