Demonstrating Outreach in Delaware

April 20, 2010
9:00 am

I’m in Wilmington, Delaware today for a ceremony honoring three organizations that have made a tremendous difference helping uninsured Delawareans find affordable, accessible health insurance.

Before I tell you more about this event, though, let me flash back a couple of years.  The Healthcare Leadership Council had been conducting an experiment in 10 cities across the country.  It was called Health Access America and it was designed to test the validity of a premise, that it’s possible to reduce the number of uninsured Americans by investing resources in outreach.  Could linking people with reliable information about health coverage actually result in them acquiring a private insurance plan or enrolling in a public program?

Data says it could.  Studies we commissioned showed that half of the uninsured people in this country don’t know where to turn for information on available plans and prices, and we know from talking to small businesses that they have neither human resource departments nor the time to effectively comparison shop for health insurance.

Having experienced success with our outreach approach in 10 cities, we had a conversation with one of our HLC members, AstraZeneca, about the uninsured problem in Delaware.  AstraZeneca was committed to addressing the problem in the state where their headquarters is located and we agreed that it was an ideal launching pad for another outreach project.

The Delaware version of Health Access America has taken place over a two-year period and involved the hard work of over 100 organizations who served as partners in this effort.  In that time, these groups organized 176 events to provide people with information about health insurance and over 1100 people, a solid number given the economic downturns during this period, touched by these events now have some form of public or private coverage.

So, today, I was joined by AstraZeneca officials and Delaware lieutenant governor Matt Denn, a strong supporter of the project, to honor three organizations that showed tremendous leadership in helping their fellow citizens gain health coverage.  To the United Way of Delaware, the Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce and the Delaware Healthy Children Program, it was a privilege to recognize your success today.

Pictured below (left to right):  Rita Landgraf, Secretary, Delaware Department of Health and Social Services; Lt. Gov. Matt Denn; Michelle Taylor, Delaware United Way; Mary R. Grealy, Healthcare Leadership Council; and Bob Perkins, AstraZeneca.


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