With implementation of the Affordable Care Act coming in 2014, many funders may be breathing a sigh of relief for the uninsured. But don’t let all the air out just yet.
Even after full implementation, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that some 30 million Americans will remain without health insurance. Some of these will be people who, despite the broader reach of health coverage, still will be unable to afford insurance. Others will choose to pay the fine rather than purchase insurance. Others will abstain from coverage for religious reasons. And undocumented residents are not covered by the ACA.
Regardless of the reasons, the fact remains that there will be human beings in need of care and without insurance after January 1, 2014. And, unless there is a better system available, they will do what millions before them have done: become confused by a disjointed public health care system with no clear access point, fear the out-of-pocket costs they might incur, miss out on preventative care, delay treatment, and end up in the emergency room when conditions are most critical and care is most expensive.
Recently, Putnam Community Investment Consulting had the pleasure to create a case study for a unique program that effectively closes the “cracks” that the uninsured might otherwise fall through. Healthy San Francisco (HSF) provides access to affordable, high-quality care for tens of thousands of uninsured adults each year, and has served more than 116,000 San Franciscans since it began in 2007. HSF is NOT health insurance, but it does provide many of the benefits that make patients more at ease, and more likely to seek preventative care and earlier treatment.
The case study provides a look at how HSF works, the various partners who make it successful, a breakdown of funding sources, and evidence of the programs success. There’s also a list of seven things any community can do to improve healthcare access to the uninsured.
Posted by Kris Putnam-Walkerly © Kris Putnam-Walkerly and Philanthropy411, 2013.