Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Low-Cost Care Not An Easy Sell

WaPo put together a nice analysis of the Health Howard program this week.

Officials in Howard County thought their low-cost health-care program would be an easy sell in a community where an estimated 15,000 adults are without coverage. But nearly four months later, they are struggling to get people to enroll...

...John Gruber, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology economics professor who studies health-care issues, said there is a long history of voluntary coverage programs that have failed because too few people enroll. The reasons run the gamut: People don't think they need coverage, don't know programs exist or don't have the money.

As Health Howard officials sorted through applicants, staff writer Lori Aratani reports, they discovered that many were eligible for other state or federal programs and directed them there instead. By the end of January, although more than 1,500 of the estimated 15,000 uninsured people in the county had coverage, only about 109 were receiving it through Healthy Howard.

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