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Medical Access Quick Guide

OVERVIEW:
The Medial Access Quick Guide is for individuals and/or families who have medical needs, which will require them to navigate the health care system. They may need to deal with several medical providers, health insurances, private payment methods, and managing their bills after services.  Other times, the family may have different cultural views and experiences on medical care issues and may need support and education in becoming familiar with the way these are addressed here in the U.S. Due to inability to access medical care, children or parents may be neglecting their health needs which could be an indicator of deeper issues.       

GOAL:
One goal of the Medical Access Quick Guide is to assist clients in getting health insurance if they are eligible and are not currently enrolled. Under the new health care laws, additional people are eligible for Medicaid and even more are eligible for government subsidies to offset the costs of expensive health care.
Another goal of the Medical Access Quick Guide is to assist clients with finding a good entry point into the medical system, as well as supportive services for accessing that care. This will look different for some clients depending on their health insurance status and individual needs.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS:

  • Under the Affordable Care Act, Washington elected to expand Medicaid. Under this expansion many new and additional people are eligible for Medicaid, and many more are eligible for government subsidizes on health care. For more information, see Changes in Medicaid.
  • Vaccinations are an important step in keeping kids healthy. From birth up until adulthood, vaccinations are needed regularly. For more information, see vaccination schedules also available in Spanish.
  • Veterans, who are discharged from the United States military, under other than dishonorable conditions, are eligible for medical benefits. For a quick overview on enrollment, see the VA Medical Benefits document, or for more detailed information on benefits, see the VA Health Care Benefits Overview.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR:

  • Ideally the medical system should be accessed through a primary care physician. This person will know details about patient’s medical care and will be able to help make the best medical decisions. Having a successful Doctor appointment will often depend on the individual and their ability to make the most of that time. For bilingual tips on having a successful doctor appointment, see the Talking with your doctor folder.
  • Even with the Medicaid expansion, there are still many people who are ineligible for health care and are one illness away from a crisis situation. Fortunately most hospitals have payment plan options, for more information see the Getting Help with Medical Debt document, also available in Spanish.

TAKE ACTION:
For resources relating to Medical Access, see the Medical Access Resource Tool