Financial Support for Uninsured North Texans | United Way of Metropolitan Dallas

United Way Provides Financial Support for Uninsured North Texans

Those who are unemployed or lost healthcare coverage benefits due to COVID-19 can apply for the North Texas Healthcare Coverage Financial Assistance Program through Aug. 15.

black couple on computer applying for financial assistance

In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Texas lost an estimated 1.4 million jobs. And while the state has regained two-thirds of those, hundreds of thousands of people are still out of work—and many of those lost their health care insurance when they lost their job.

Unfortunately, Texas doesn’t fare very well when it comes to health insurance coverage. Our state leads the nation in the number of uninsured residents and in the percentage of people who are uninsured. Additionally, Texas has opted not to expand Medicaid, denying uninsured people an important safety net.

At United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, we recognize the importance of access to quality health care. Health insurance helps people achieve and maintain good health. With insurance, North Texans are able to get regular medical attention, which prevents bigger health problems—and larger hospital bills—down the road.

We know that health, along with education and income, is one of the building blocks of opportunity. It’s why we focused one of our Aspire United 2030 goals on health insurance: Over the next decade, we’re working to increase to 96% the number of North Texans who have access to affordable health insurance.

Read on to learn more about how we’re working to unite the entire North Texas community around health care—to ensure everyone can access the care they need to thrive.

“Access to affordable and comprehensive healthcare coverage […] improves quality of life, improves mental health, can result in better career opportunities, prevents the spread of disease, safeguards your family’s health and helps people live better, longer lives.”

Support from the North Texas Healthcare Coverage Collaborative

As thousands of North Texans lost their jobs—and their employer-provided health coverage—during COVID-19, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas saw an important opportunity to find a solution. We teamed up with the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council and the Dallas County Enroll North Texas ACA Coalition to launch the North Texas Healthcare Coverage Collaborative (NTHCC), which provides short-term financial assistance to our neighbors in need of health care coverage.

“Helping North Texans stay healthy is one of our priorities at United Way of Metropolitan Dallas,” said Daniel Bouton, director of health and wellness at United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. “Access to affordable and comprehensive healthcare coverage leads to good health, and good health is important for many reasons. It improves quality of life, improves mental health, can result in better career opportunities, prevents the spread of disease, safeguards your family’s health and helps people live better, longer lives.”

Here’s how the program works: NTHCC provides three months of financial assistance to individuals who recently became unemployed or lost their employer-sponsored health insurance because of COVID-19. NTHCC also will provide financial assistance to parents who need assistance paying CHIP/Children’s Medicaid fees and copays.

If you qualify, a representative from the collaborative will help you purchase health insurance coverage on the Affordable Care Act marketplace. Once you’ve found a plan that works for your needs, NTHCC will provide three months of financial support, ranging from $150 to $350 per month, to pay for your health insurance premiums.

North Texans can apply for the NTHCC fund through August 15.

Apply for Financial Assistance Today

North Texans can apply for the NTHCC fund through Aug. 15. Clients must reside in the four-county area of Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant Counties and show documentation of unemployment or reduction in hours that prevents them from receiving benefits.

Additional Health Care Assistance

The federal government just announced that individuals who collect unemployment at any point in 2021 can get free or low-cost health insurance through the Affordable Care Act marketplace. The new zero-premium health plans come with no or very low deductibles and co-pays. This financial support is part of the American Rescue Plan Act, which is meant to help Americans bounce back from the economic crisis caused by COVID-19.

If you’ve collected unemployment at any time this year, you can apply for a free or low-cost insurance plan through Aug. 15. Click here to learn more and to search for coverage.

Open Enrollment Ends Aug. 15

If you need health insurance and don’t qualify for either of the special programs above, don’t worry: You can still enroll in a plan through the Affordable Care Act marketplace during the special enrollment period, which opened in February and runs through Aug. 15. Visit healthcare.gov to shop for a plan.

A quick note: This isn’t your last chance to enroll in a health plan in 2021. The regular annual enrollment period will begin Nov. 1 and typically lasts six weeks. 

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ABOUT UNITED WAY OF METROPOLITAN DALLAS

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United Way of Metropolitan Dallas is a community-based social change organization that puts opportunity in the hands of all North Texans. Working with our determined supporters, we lead the charge to improve education, income and health—the building blocks of opportunity. We invite all change-seekers in our community to Live United to achieve lasting results right here at home.

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This article was published on: Aug 5, 2021