Is there an insurance plan I qualify for AND can afford? Is there help to pay for my medical expenses? I can’t afford my medications, can you help? How do we plan for end of life choices?
These are all questions that Whatcom County senior citizens and their care partners have asked Whatcom Alliance for Health Advancement, located in Bellingham, WA.
WAHA is a local nonprofit organization whose mission is to “connect people to health care and facilitate transformation of the current system into one that improves health, reduces cost and improves the experience of care.”
They provide resources to those who need assistance getting health care, obtaining health insurance, finding a primary care provider, purchasing insurance or applying for healthcare assistance programs.
WAHA access counselors provide free and confidential information that help senior citizens, their family members and/or caregivers find ways to access health care and make important healthcare decisions. Services may include:
- purchasing insurance
- applying for assistance programs
- using community clinics and sliding-fee scale providers
- accessing donated care
- finding primary care providers
The group also serves as a healthcare advocate–providing information to elected officials and decision makers about health care policies, convening community stakeholders, and facilitating the transformation of the health care system into one that honors and serves the entire community.