Because people with health coverage achieve greater well-being and health than those who do not, Arizonans deserve access to affordable, high-quality health care.
Approximately one-in-five Arizonans lacked health care coverage in 2013. Numerous studies have shown that the uninsured typically delay or go without primary and preventive care, resulting in poorer health. Vitalyst Health Foundation’s own research has shown that those without health coverage are more likely to lack a personal doctor, delay getting medical insurance, and experience medical debt.
For more information and to see Vitalyst’s latest Access to Care Publications, see:
- The ACA Marketplace in Arizona: Insurer Participation, Affordability and Network Adequacy(February 2016)
- Achieving the Promise of Accountable Care Organizations: Progress in Arizona (October 2016)
- Arizona’s Healthcare Workforce: Supply, Demand and Insights from the Field (August 2016)
- Health Insurance for Adults in Arizona (June 2011)
- Arizona Adults’ Access to Health Care (July 2011)
- Health Insurance and Medical Debt (August 2011)
The Cover Arizona Coalition
Vitalyst Health Foundation convenes a 1,000-member coalition called Cover Arizona whose aim is to help more Arizonans become insured.
The coalition was created in response to the Affordable Care Act (and its creation of the federal health insurance Marketplace) and the restoration and expansion of eligibility for AHCCCS (Arizona’s Medicaid program). Prior to the Cover Arizona coalition, Vitalyst Health Foundation had a long history of engagement in health coverage issues. In 1998, we played a pivotal role in outreach when Arizona began its KidsCare health insurance program (Arizona’s version of the federal Children’s Health Insurance Program).
The Cover Arizona Coalition is comprised of the state’s two federally-funded navigator organizations, and a wide array of community-based organizations, health providers, tribal representatives, advocates, and members of the faith community. Collectively, the group is engaged in the following activities:
- Enrollment Assistance and Training: The coalition helps train and support hundreds of navigators, certified application counselors and brokers who are helping Arizonans enroll in health coverage. The coalition’s website provides information on enrollment events occurring throughout the state. It also serves to connect people to appointments for enrollment assistance occurring in local communities through Enroll America’s Get Covered Connector. Last year, there were over 80,000 visits to coveraz.org. Vitalyst Health Foundation helps augment enrollment assistance by providing financial support to two Arizona organizations, Keogh Health Connection and Pima Community Access Program.
- Public Awareness and Outreach: Cover Arizona partners are involved in a wide array of outreach activities to heighten awareness of the availability of Marketplace and Medicaid coverage. For example, Coalition members such as Arizona PIRG are working on community college campuses to encourage young people to get covered. Southern Arizona coalition members have created commercials, while still other members have been engaging Latinos, rural communities, or other populations that have been historically more challenging to get insured.
- Consumer Information: A priority for Cover Arizona is to help consumers understand not only how to sign up for health coverage, but also how to select a health plan that meets their needs. Cover Arizona members have developed health literacy materials for consumers. The coalition has also held trainings for community-based organizations interested in helping consumers understand insurance and how to connect to enrollment assistance.
- Public Policy: Coalition members also share information on important and emerging public policy issues that are relevant to coalition members, ranging from Medicaid expansion and the renewal of Arizona’s Medicaid waiver to selection of essential health benefit benchmark plans and oversight of health plan networks. Much of this information is shared through bi-weekly newsletters called Covered Clips.
Growing the Healthcare Workforce
Vitalyst Health Foundation is working closely with partners including the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce (through its Phoenix Forward initiative) and the City of Phoenix (through the Phoenix Healthcare Sector Partnership) to identify and address Arizona’s health workforce needs, improve access to health care, and help Arizona produce high-paying jobs.
Our current efforts include:
- Identifying future health workforce needs
- Addressing the need for advanced level training of health professionals (including the need to create more residencies in the state)
- Fostering incentives for medical professionals to serve in medically underserved areas
- Engaging young people in health careers
- Leveraging federal resources to help train people for needed jobs
Recent Vitalyst Health Foundation publications related to health workforce include: