"It is clear that northern Michigan's service-based economy and shrinking employment base is particularly vulnerable to the issue of the uninsured," said Linda Yaroch, Deputy Health Officer for the Health Department of Northwest Michigan. "With no statewide or national solution--yet--the Health Department offers many programs at low-cost or no-cost for people who are uninsured or underinsured."These programs include:
Several programs to assist residents in getting the prescriptions they need.
Yaroch said with 18% of residents in Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet, and Otsego counties without health insurance, the area has the second highest uninsured rate in Michigan (after Detroit).
"Most uninsured people who live in the Health District are working," she said. "But their employers have found it increasingly difficult to offer health insurance benefits because of rising costs."
Organized by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Cover the Uninsured Week is the largest nonpartisan mobilization in history seeking solutions for the nearly 45 million Americans who are uninsured.
"The relationship between insurance coverage and good health cannot be overstated," said Yaroch. "We know families who have health insurance are far more likely to see a doctor when they are sick and get the check-ups, prescriptions medicines, and immunizations they need to stay healthy."
The Health Department of Northwest Michigan is mandated by the Michigan Public Health Code to promote wellness, prevent disease, provide quality healthcare, address health problems of vulnerable populations, and protect the environment for the residents and visitors of Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet, and Otsego counties. For eligibility, charges, and additional information about the Health Department’s services, call 800-432-4121 or visit www.nwhealth.org.