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Teresa Chavez, Enrollment and Financial Services Supervisor, consults with OneWorld patient.

OneWorld’s Enrollment and Financial Services help patients afford and access health care

When Teresa Chavez, Enrollment and Financial Services Supervisor, received the November 2021 list of potential Medicaid candidates from a Region 6 Behavioral Health report, she decided to personally call one of the candidates. The patient insisted she was not eligible because she had applied and been denied, but her responses to three simple screening questions changed that.

“I could tell she was very surprised and she began to cry,” Teresa said. “She completed the application, and about a week later, I followed up with her case and saw she was eligible for Medicaid. I gave her a call and she was just so grateful.”

Affordability and accessibility are two barriers many people in the United States face with health care. While there are many assistance programs, each has their own policies, jargon and small print for people to navigate. Additionally, some people cannot read in their own language.

OneWorld Community Health Centers overcomes these issues every time a patient checks in for an appointment. If patients do not have health insurance, they visit the OneWorld Marketplace Enrollment and Financial Services team.

Financial Services consultation space.

Located at the Livestock Exchange Health campus, the marketplace staff help patients in various languages apply for health insurance including Medicaid and other affordable insurance options.

Patients are initially screened for eligibility for many different programs. From there, OneWorld staff help patients gather supporting documents and complete applications while explaining terminology and policies.

With Covid-19 being declared a national emergency, certain screening requirements have been waived for Medicaid. The Department of Health and Human Services reviews the emergency status every two months.

Uninsured patients can apply for OneWorld’s Sliding Fee Scale discount, which is determined by gross annual income and the number of immediate family members in a household. The 2021 Sliding Fee Scale has five poverty levels, with nominal fees for medical appointments as low as $35 (0-100% federal poverty).

“The average medical appointment without insurance is $190, and many people cannot afford that. The Sliding Scale makes health care accessible and affordable, and that’s key,” said Teresa.

The Enrollment and Financial Services team help patients stay up-to-date with plan renewals, changes and payment plans to ensure every patient has access to health care.

Financial Services team members.

Patient Payment Breakdown

From January-October 2021, OneWorld provided care for 43,866 patients:

  • 47% uninsured
  • 34% enrolled in Medicaid
  • 15% commercial insurance
  • 4% enrolled in Medicare
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