Sierra Health Council Sets Goal for Healthcare Coverage!
The Sierra County Health Council held its monthly meeting on Jan. 15, 2014 with three guest speakers, including two representatives from Health Action New Mexico and one from U.S. Sen. Tom Udall’s office, for a brainstorming session that resulted in the emergence of a team concept: What if the Sierra Health Council set a goal for 2,000 of Sierra County’s residents to become successfully enrolled in healthcare coverage during the next ten weeks – before the March 31 ends the opportunity to enroll in the 2014 Health Insurance Marketplace? This goal was readily adopted by the council and became a reinforcing purpose for a health fair scheduled in February.
In addition, two presentations were made by the Health Action guest speakers on the status of implementation of the healthcare programs made possible by the Affordable Care Act. The field representative from Sen. Udall’s office provided an update on current New Mexico legislative issues and some continuing health coverage issues they are focusing on at the federal level. Additionally, the Senator’s field representative provided troubleshooting assistance and guidance on health coverage issues being addressed at the local level in Sierra County.
There was further discussion on what the Sierra Health Council can do to maximize awareness among the uninsured and to how to connect them with enrollment specialists. Throughout this brainstorming session, the motivating factor was that the deadline to enroll was just 10 weeks away.
One conclusion reached during the meeting was a great way to motivate those who are uninsured is to have them learn the success stories of others in their community who were also uninsured, but took the time speak with an enrollment specialist and were enrolled in healthcare coverage. HANM offered to help collect stories with help from the Sierra Health Council, and to share the stories with others, for the building of solidarity to create a healthier community, one person at a time.
Several of the council members were positive the goal will be met and surpassed before the March 31 deadline.