Category Archives: News

Health Insurance Marketplace Open for All

11/2/2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Ariel White, 504.206.6275
Info@504HealthNet.Org

Health Insurance Marketplace Open for All

NEW ORLEANS, LA — This week marks the beginning of open enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace. Starting on November 1, local organizations are mobilizing to help Greater New Orleans area residents sign up for health insurance coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace—a tool to help individuals find health insurance that is right for them at affordable prices.

504HealthNet partners will host a number of Marketplace enrollment events which will take place from November to January to provide information and one-on-one assistance to residents seeking to apply for insurance coverage. The events are organized by members of 504HealthNet, a non-profit organization comprised of 22 community health care providers representing the primary care and behavioral health safety net for Jefferson, Orleans, St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes.

“Most people need medical care at some point, but will not know in advance when that is. Having health insurance helps you cover these costs, protects you from very high expenses, and can make it easier to see a doctor,” said Susan Todd, executive director of 504HealthNet. “Through the Marketplace, financial assistance is available to help lower the cost of health insurance. Nearly 6 in 10 uninsured Americans could get insurance for $100 month or less. Depending on your income, you could pay as low as $20 a month for coverage.”

All plans offered through the Marketplace cover a comprehensive set of benefits, including physician visits, preventive care, hospital stays, and prescriptions. Discrimination based on gender or pre¬existing conditions is no longer allowed, making it easier to get covered. Also, many individuals, families and small businesses will qualify for a discount on their monthly premiums.

Those seeking Marketplace enrollment help can attend an upcoming Marketplace enrollment event or visit or call a Greater New Orleans community health center offering assistance. Upcoming Marketplace enrollment events offer an opportunity to receive in-person enrollment assistance at a convenient location. Visit 504HealthNet.org or call (504) 658-2053 for more information.

It is important to note those without any health insurance coverage may have to pay a fee of $695 per person ($347.50 per child under 18) or 2.5% of your income, whichever is higher. Avoid the penalty and enroll in coverage by January 31!

For more information on the Marketplace, visit 504HealthNet.org/Insurance-Marketplace.

Budget Passed, Includes Funding for GNOCHC

Greater New Orleans Community Health Connection Program funded with $8 million

New Orleans, LA (6/22/15) — On Friday, June 19th, Governor Jindal signed the 2015 budget into law which included $8 million for the Greater New Orleans Community Health Connection (GNOCHC), a program that provides primary care and behavioral health coverage for 59,000 people in the Greater New Orleans Region. GNOCHC participants are adults under 105 percent of the federal poverty level, who are uninsured and not eligible for regular Medicaid, and who live in Jefferson, Orleans, St. Bernard, and Plaquemines parishes.

“We are thrilled that this important program will continue. This program has made a huge impact in the four parish area,” said Susan Todd, executive director of 504HealthNet. “It gives people who are otherwise uninsured access to a primary care doctor to take care of important health issues like diabetes and high blood pressure. This program covers the people who can’t get health care coverage through their employer, or through any other program, and allows them to address their basic healthcare needs.”

This funding will maintain access to preventative healthcare and behavioral health services for 59,000 GNO residents in our community. It also means more than 300 people in health centers across the metro area will keep their jobs, and Louisiana will continue to save money as people are able to access care in the lower cost setting of a community health center instead of the emergency room, which is more costly.

“We are thankful to all of the Legislators representing this region who has been very supportive of GNOCHC. Representatives Moreno and Montoucet stepped up to support this important program by submitting an amendment to include funding for it in the state budget. This critical program continues to make a significant impact on the lives of patients,” Todd said. “Continuing to fund this program means so much for patients who are looking to stay healthy in our community.”
By providing $8 million in funding from the current state’s budget, GNOCHC will draw down an additional $13 million in federal funding. If this program had been cut, we would have experienced a devastating blow to prevention and building a healthy community, as the GNO region would have lost $21 million to deliver care to low-income residents.

504HealthNet is a non-profit organization comprised of 22 community health service providers representing the primary care and behavioral health safety net for Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard, and Plaquemines Parishes. Together, 504HealthNet is working collaboratively to better meet the primary care and behavioral health needs of low-income, uninsured, and underinsured residents in the Greater New Orleans area.

You can find more information about GNOCHC here.

504HealthNet Marks the 10-year Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina

NEW ORLEANS—504HealthNet executive director Susan Todd released the following statement on the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

“It has been ten years since our city was changed momentously by Hurricane Katrina. In the past decade we have grown in ways we could not have imagined. Through the rebuilding process the city has increased the number of locations that people can receive primary care and behavioral health services in their neighborhood.

Having community-based providers located in all neighborhoods through out the city—and throughout the region—means that access to affordable, high quality care is more available than ever before. Across the 504HealthNet member clinics providers see more than 140,000 patients. These community based health clinics have become centers of care for anyone who needs it—from working parents with a cold, to the waiter with a burn, to the student with a migraine. These health centers are working tirelessly to build a healthier New Orleans and to continue to serve the people who need it most.”

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ABOUT 504HEALTHNET
504HealthNet is a non-profit organization comprised of 22 community health service providers representing the primary care and behavioral health safety net for Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard, and Plaquemines Parishes. Together, 504HealthNet is working collaboratively to better meet the primary care and behavioral health needs of low-income, uninsured, and underinsured residents in the Greater New Orleans area.

504HealthNet in the News

Letter: Cuts to program mean cuts to jobs, patient care
When Gov. Bobby Jindal released his budget recently, he casually cut health care coverage for 57,000 people at or below poverty in the four-parish area who would otherwise be uninsured. Removing funding for the Greater New Orleans Community Health Connection means that individuals of Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines and St. Bernard Parishes will lose $26 million annually for primary care and behavioral health coverage.

The result is not only a social catastrophe but also an economic disaster, straining the network of community health centers and driving patients to emergency rooms where they cannot be turned away.

We anticipate seeing a significant population of patients begin to use the local emergency rooms if patients lose this valuable coverage. The GNOCHC program should be continued because it allows community health centers to provide high-quality care to patients and to keep them healthy and alive.

Read the full letter here

504HealthNet in the News

Clinics serving 57,000 uninsured in New Orleans area could be cut in Jindal budget

State funding for a network of New Orleans area community clinics that provide health care to 57,000 uninsured patients would be eliminated under Gov. Bobby Jindal’s proposed fiscal 2015-16 budget. Kristy Nichols, Jindal’s top administrator, presented the $7.7 million cut as part of an overall $1.2 billion in proposed budget reductions before state legislators Friday (Feb. 27).

If the funding is eliminated, the effective impact would be to end the Greater New Orleans Community Health Connection, said Susan Todd, executive director of 504HealthNet, a coalition of organizations concerned with providing health care to uninsured in the Greater New Orleans area.

Read the full article here.

504HealthNet in the News

Legislature should find budget money for New Orleans area health clinics: Editorial

Tulane University doctors launched a health clinic at Covenant House in New Orleans within days of Hurricane Katrina and the levee breaches in 2005. At the beginning, they were greeting patients at a card table in the courtyard of the agency that serves homeless teens. Within a year, the clinic had four exam rooms and had seen 8,000 patients.

By 2010, fueled by a $100 million federal grant, dozens of similar clinics were offering preventive health care in Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes for low-income residents.

Read the full article here

504HealthNet in the News

Health care funding appeals made

After weeks of budget hearings, members of the public got a chance Tuesday to weigh in on Gov. Bobby Jindal’s proposed health care budget, many of them declaring it lacking.

The House Appropriations Committee heard from a parade of witnesses seeking money for community care of the developmentally disabled and primary care health centers, including those in the New Orleans area serving the working poor.

Read the full article here

504HealthNet in the News

New Orleans health clinics need Legislature to stick to budget promise: Edit

The future of dozens of health clinics in the New Orleans area looked grim when Gov. Bobby Jindal’s staff presented the administration’s budget in March. All state funding was eliminated, which meant that even more federal money was at risk of being lost.

That could have meant severe cuts to services, which would be a blow to thousands of people in Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes who depend on the clinics and to the region’s recovery as well.

Things look much better this week.

Read the full story here.

504HealthNet in the News

NOLA plans health care campaign with new grant

New Orleans has been selected to join a national program intended to help cities overcome the challenges of poverty, and plans to use a grant to improve the health care of its residents.

City Accelerator aims to assist 11 cities with new technologies and innovation in city government, with the aim of creating economic opportunities for low-income residents. New Orleans entered the competition in March, hoping to be awarded a share of the $3 million program funded by the Citi Foundation and Living Cities.

New Orleans will receive about $170,000 for an initiative aimed at preventative health care through a Medicaid waiver program administered by the New Orleans Health Department. The program will target the 59,000 people currently enrolled in the Greater New Orleans Community Health Connection.

Read the full story here

504HealthNet in the News

Amendment restores community clinic funding

Community health care clinics in New Orleans are hopeful that an amendment to the state legislative budget bill restores funding that is in danger of being cut.

Gov. Bobby Jindal’s original budget proposal cut the $8 million state contribution for over 40 clinics. Rep. Helena Moreno, D-New Orleans, added an amendment yesterday that would restore the funding.

Read the full story here