Need help finding them? Try your health insurance plan.
Wellness is so much more than just a trip to the doctor’s office and a prescription for some medicine. That’s because your whole health – physical and mental – is affected by a lot of nonmedical things around you.
A safe place to live. Money to pay the rent. Enough food to eat. Job opportunities. Access to transportation. These factors and many more can play a big part in your overall wellbeing.
The good news? There are plenty of no-cost resources in the community to help you with these basic social needs. And If you’re on Apple Health (Medicaid), there are people from your health plan who can connect you to those resources.
Coordinating care in the community
Take the case of Elena (not her real name), a 63-year-old woman living by herself in Eastern Washington. She is a CHPW Apple Health member who gets her medical care at her local Community Health Center clinic.
Elena was low on food and had been without heat for over three weeks. She didn’t know who to turn to. Then she came across a pamphlet lying around her house for CHPW member services and resources. One cold, wintry day, she called CHPW for help.
CHPW Community Health Worker Ruth Payne responded. She helped Elena apply for food stamps from the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).The program, called Basic Food in Washington State, helps people with low incomes make ends meet by providing monthly benefits to buy food.
Ruth and CHPW Spokane Case Manager Eric Eaton teamed up to connect Elena with a nonprofit neighborhood assistance program that helped restore her heating. The two also helped Elena fill out the paperwork to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).
Ruth then connected the member with a local tribal victim assistance program. The tribal organization gave Elena gift cards for Walmart, Chevron Gas, and Safeway along with help for rent and utility bills for a few months.
That’s not all! Elena’s car wouldn’t start, so Ruth and Eric worked together to jump-start it. It turned out the car battery was bad, so Ruth helped Elena buy a new battery, which an auto-parts shop employee installed at no charge. Now Elena had a reliable way to get to her medical appointments again.
Elena was finally able to get a good night’s sleep.
“The member was very grateful for all our help,“ Ruth said.
Sometimes help is just a connection away. By simply dialing 211, searching Washington 211 website, or texting 211WAOD to 898211, people in Washington State can get help paying bills, finding food and locating other resources in their community.
A team to support your health
Elena’s story shows that a great health care team is often made up of more than just doctors and nurses. It can include community health workers and case managers like Ruth and Eric who work together to help CHPW Apple Health members outside of the clinic. And who will go the extra mile to make sure members’ basic social and health needs are taken care of.
When you have a whole team supporting your health, chances are you’ll be feeling a whole lot better.
Did you know?
CHPW has a Community Support Services team that connects Apple Health members with local programs and services to help with everyday needs like housing, food and transportation. Find more at chwp.org/community-programs
Are you a CHPW member and need help with renewing your Apple Health coverage? Call CHPW’s Renewal Team at 1-866-907-1904 (TTY: 711), 8 am – 5:30 pm, Monday through Friday.