Voices of Apple Health

Apple Health outreach staff help spread the word about free and low-cost health insurance

Melissa Rivera and Jennifer Rodriguez in front of Apple Health (Medicaid) sign, outside of Rainier Community Court

Melissa Rivera and Jennifer Rodriguez

It takes a village to help someone in need.

In the Rainier Community Court neighborhood, an affordable housing development created by South East Effective Development (SEED) Seattle, residents gathered together for a festival to learn about resources available to them while enjoying food, music, and activities.

Kids ran around playing tag, and helped create sidewalk chalk murals with a local arts group. The community provided feedback on park amenities they would like to have at their new neighborhood park opening soon. Seattle police officers also joined in the festival to meet residents and answer safety questions.

Events like these provide opportunity for residents to connect with local and state agencies offering assistance with things like utility bills, transportation, housing assistance, and health care all in one place. Assistance programs give residents and their children the help they need to give them the best chance at becoming healthy, self-sufficient adults.

Washington Apple Health (Medicaid) outreach staff welcomed the opportunity to talk to residents about free or low-cost health care at Rainier Community Court. Many residents stopped by to ask questions about income limits and if they could be eligible for Apple Health.

Many of those living at the SEED development already had Apple Health or Medicare. Some of them came by the booth just to say “thank you.”

“There was a mom with her daughter who stopped by our table. She was really thankful for having Apple Health because her daughter had to get some extensive medical services, and without it, she would not have known what to do or how to pay for the services,” said Jennifer Rodriguez, a medical assistance specialist at the Health Care Authority.

Another resident told outreach staff if it weren't for Apple Health, her surgery would not have been possible.

Some residents were concerned about the future of the Affordable Care Act and what that would mean for them and their insurance. Apple Health provides health insurance to 1.9 million Washington residents, more than 850,000 of them children.

“It’s business as usual and we are continuing to spread the word and get people covered. If a change comes, we’ll deal with it then,” said HCA representative Melissa Rivera.

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