Bridging Health Care and Financial Health

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While regular check-ups, screenings and preventative care measures are essential for maintaining good physical health, they can often be out of reach for people facing financial difficulties. When things are tight, the most immediate needs — food and housing — usually take priority and, unless the situation is dire, health care can get pushed to the back burner. Health care needs rarely resolve themselves, however. When neglected, they can lead to more severe problems, get more expensive to address and even create permanent, life-altering challenges.

As a nonprofit managed care entity, CareSource administers one of the largest Medicaid managed care plans in the U.S. We specialize in offering a variety of health insurance plans, including Medicaid, Medicare and Health Insurance Marketplace products. CareSource is reinventing traditional health care models with next-generation efforts to address social determinants of health in order to foster well-being and drive self-sufficiency for those we serve.

Although improvements have been made in health care affordability, it’s too soon to say it’s still not a problem for some. In fact, a 2022 study by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 64% of uninsured, non-elderly adults said they didn’t have health care coverage because the cost was just too high. Financial issues need not be an insurmountable barrier to our health, however, and, with the right information, even people who don’t think they can afford care might be surprised at the choices available to them.

There’s no way around it — sometimes the details of health care coverage can be hard to figure out. It’s okay to ask questions, however, and community, volunteer and government programs exist to help answer them. Empowering people in need to ask questions and seek clarification so they can better engage in health care coverage decisions can be a breakthrough that aids in overall well-being. Recommendations for navigating the health care coverage landscape include:

  • Know your budget: Evaluate your financial situation to understand what you can afford to spend on health insurance each month.
  • Know the plans that are out there: Familiarize yourself with the various types of health insurance plans available since different types have different cost structures, coverage options and provider networks. It can seem complex but the variety means there is probably an option that fits you best.
  • Consider what you need: Assess your health care needs, including anticipated medical expenses, prescription medications, preventative care, specialist visits and potential emergencies.
  • Evaluate provider networks: Consider the network of health care providers (doctors, hospitals, specialists) included in each health insurance plan. Check if your preferred health care providers or the type of care you need or want are “in-network” to maximize coverage and reduce out-of-pocket costs.
  • Seek assistance: Do not be afraid to ask questions to better understand a medical bill or health insurance plan. Seek assistance from certified health care professionals or customer service representatives. Some health care facilities also offer financial assistance.
  • Stay informed: Stay informed about changes in health insurance regulations, open enrollment periods, plan updates and available resources. Regularly review your health insurance coverage to ensure it continues to meet your needs and remains affordable.

We know that the risks for those without health care coverage are real and significant. Research has shown that uninsured adults are less likely to receive preventive care for chronic conditions and that uninsured children are less likely to receive treatment for conditions like asthma or preventative services such as dental care, immunization and well-child visits. With more information about health coverage options and their costs, these challenges need not loom over people, regardless of their financial circumstances. By taking proactive steps, anyone can enhance their well-being and achieve an overall healthier life.

Dr. Cameual Wright, MD, MBA is the chief medical officer for CareSource Indiana, a nationally recognized non-profit managed care entity that administers one of the largest Medicaid-managed care plans in the U.S. The organization offers health insurance, including Medicaid, Health Insurance Marketplace, and Medicare products.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Indiana Contact: Robert Vane, CEO & President, Veteran Strategies, 317.696.9443, robert@veteranstrategies.com

CareSource HQ: Hannah Krafka, Sr. Media Relations Specialist, 937.751.4862, Hannah.Krafka@caresource.com