Healthy Howard

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Healthy Howard is a county-sponsored health care program offered to certain uninsured residents of Howard County, Maryland. The program, which provides doctors visits and prescription drugs, has been nationally hailed as a model to offer health care to local lower income people without health insurance.[1]

The program started on October 1, 2008 with a plan to accommodate 2,200 people in a salary range of $35,000 to $63,600 for a family of four.[2] Plans were to increase this number by 2000 enrollees each year thereafter.[3]

Services are also offered to those who become unemployed.[4]

Details[edit]

The program is open to those who make between 117% and 300% of the federal poverty income level and are not eligible for Medicaid. It costs between $50 and $80 monthly, and it provides physician visits and prescription drugs.[1][5]

It is not considered a health insurance program and does not cover any care received outside the boundaries of Howard County.[3]

The program, which costs $2.8 million annually to operate, is funded with a combination of premiums, county funds, and private donations[6][3]

Issues[edit]

The program has shown to be difficult to sell, falling below expectations. Initially, the county had presumed that they would need to hold a lottery to determine which of the county's 15,000 uninsured residents would be getting its 2,200 slots.[7]

It was found that many when they attempted to sign up for the Healthy Howard program were actually eligible for other health care programs.

Future[edit]

It has been predicted that if national health care reform is passed, there will be no need for Healthy Howard to continue. Some, however, believe the program can be converted into a health insurance plan.[1]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Dash, Julekha (August 14, 2009). "Health reform could mean the end for Healthy Howard program". Baltimore Business Journal. 
  2. ^ Simmonsen, Derek (January 8, 2009). "County launches Healthy Howard outreach". Howard County Times. 
  3. ^ a b c Aratani, Lori (September 30, 2008). "Howard Health Initiative Ready to Enroll Uninsured". The Washington Post. 
  4. ^ Simmonsen, Derek (February 6, 2009). "Healthy Howard opens to newly unemployed". Howard County Times. 
  5. ^ Siegel, Robert (June 16, 2009). "In New Model, County Offers Low-Cost Health Care". National Public Radio. 
  6. ^ Trapp, Doug (December 3, 2007). "Maryland county idea offers access for uninsured". American Medical News. 
  7. ^ Aratani, Lori (February 24, 2009). "Low-Cost Health Care in Howard Not an Easy Sell". The Washington Post.