Free Support for Affordable Care Act Open Enrollment

Do you need healthcare insurance?

Swope Health can assist you with finding a healthcare insurance plan in the federal insurance marketplace – and now’s the time! We are in an Open Enrollment period, now through May 15, 2021.

Why now?

One of the earliest actions President Joe Biden took was to re-launch the Open Enrollment period for Americans to sign up for healthcare insurance under the Affordable Care Act or ACA. The executive order is a response to the COVID-19 pandemic that has left 30 million Americans without healthcare coverage.

The act specifically recognizes the exceptional circumstances caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic: “Black, Latino, and Native American persons are more likely to be uninsured, and communities of color have been especially hard hit by both the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic downturn.”

What is the ACA Marketplace?

The marketplace (Healthcare.gov) is operated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It brings together a range of health insurance plans to provide coverage – including for pre-existing health conditions – you can buy regardless of income. The program is designed to improve access to healthcare services, especially for those who may be unemployed or unable to afford traditional healthcare insurance.

At the Healthcare.gov Marketplace, you can select insurance that covers healthcare services from doctors, hospitals, community health centers and other providers in the United States.

Swope Health can assist you with registering for healthcare insurance in the ACA Marketplace.

How to get help:

You can call Swope Health at 816-599-5590 to talk with an enrollment specialist at Swope Health. Spanish-speaking specialists are available.

Or, if you prefer, you can schedule an appointment to meet with a specialist – either in person or through a video conference call. If you schedule an in-person meeting at any of the Swope Health clinic locations in Missouri and Kansas, you will be required to wear a mask, be screened upon entry and maintain appropriate physical distancing.

In the appointment with the specialist, you can also learn if you qualify for Medicaid and if so, the specialist can help you sign up for Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

What do I need to apply?

You can start by exploring the marketplace (Healthcare.gov) on your own to get an idea of 2021 health plans and prices. You’ll be asked about your income, so be prepared with tax information or pay stubs.

 

Additional resources:

Swope Health Presents The History of Vaccination and Inequity Among Communities of Color

The video of the first in our  special two-part noon virtual lecture series focusing on the importance of vaccination for the KC community is now available.

The first lecture originally was presented Feb. 18, on “The History of Vaccination and Inequity Among Communities of Color” featuring Jason Glenn, PhD, assistant professor in the department of history and medicine at the University of Kansas.

A graduate of Stanford University and Harvard University, Dr. Glenn’s research makes the history of medicine directly applicable to resolving local inequities of health and well-being. His areas of specialty include the history of drug policy in the U.S., the ethics and history of human subject research, health inequities research, and the social and structural determinants of health.

Watch the video to learn the history of vaccination and how we can shape our own future in the midst of this global pandemic.

 

Swope Health Joins Virtual Town Hall on COVID-19 Vaccine

Jeron Ravin

Jeron Ravin, JD

On Wednesday, Feb. 3, at 6 p.m., you’re invited to participate in a virtual Town Hall discussion on 107.3 FM about the COVID-19 vaccines. Swope Health President and CEO Jeron Ravin, JD,  and Dr. Naiomi Jamal, chief quality officer, will be featured in the discussion.

The “COVID-19 Vaccine 101” discussion will be led by 107.3’s Darron Story. Additional participants are:

  • Juliann Van Liew, director of the Unified Government’s Public Health Department
  • Jason Glenn, Ph.D., associate professor, University of Kansas Department of History and Philosophy of Medicine
  • Jerrihlyn McGee, vice chancellor for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, and Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Kansas Medical Center

 

COVID-19 VACCINATION FACTS

The panel will discuss facts about the COVID-19 vaccine and its rollout in the Kansas City area on both sides of the State Line. The experts will share personal experiences as well review and debunk misinformation about the vaccine.

You can participate by listening to 107.3 or logging on to the 107.3 Facebook page where you can ask questions of the panel.

Dr. Naiomi Jamal

Dr. Naiomi Jamal

Swope Health is now offering COVID-19 vaccinations by appointment only to current Swope Health patients at our Central Clinic for Missouri residents, and our Wyandotte Clinic for Kansas residents.

We are following guidelines set by the states of Missouri and Kansas in determining when individuals may receive the vaccine.

If you are interested in an appointment for COVID-19 vaccination and are a current Swope Health patient, please let us know by registering at: https://swopehealth.org/vaccine-interest/.

(If you are have issues accessing the link, call our helpline at (816) 321-3398.) You must be a current Swope Health patient to submit an interest form. Swope Health will contact you to schedule your vaccination when vaccine is available. 

The Top 4 Tools YOU can Use to Stop the Pandemic

The New Year brings a promise of fresh starts, a new beginning, a time for building new habits. With that thought in mind, Swope Health presents the Top Four Tools that can help you do your part to protect against COVID-19 in 2021.

These may sound familiar, and some may be healthy habits that you have already adopted from 2020. (If you’re already doing these, congratulations and keep up the good work!)

  1. Wear a mask. Make sure it covers your nose and mouth, indoors and outdoors. And two layers are better than one – you can wear a scarf or ski mask over your face in cold weather. And especially in cold or wet weather, keep a spare at hand in case yours becomes moist.
  2. Stay six feet away from others, indoors and outdoors. Limit your interactions with others outside those who live with you. When you must be out, whether it’s getting groceries or at church, limit contact and be on high alert to keep at least six feet away from others. Avoid crowded places.
  3. Wash your hands! Often! Use soap and warm water, and scrub for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer when you can’t wash with soap and water. Wash up whenever you can – before preparing food, after eating, after diapering a child, touching a pet or sneezing. When in doubt, go wash your hands!
  4. Get tested for COVID-19. The virus is spreading throughout the community. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have had close contact with someone confirmed with COVID-19, you should be tested to protect yourself and others. Swope Health is providing free community testing at a variety of locations in the KC metro area. Here’s the current list, and it is always updated under COVID-19 at the Swope Health website.
  • Jan. 5, 10 am-2 pm, George Washington Carver Elementary School, 4600 Elmwood Ave., Kansas City, MO 64`30
  • Jan. 6, 9 am-2 pm, Knights of Columbus, 5101 Blue Ridge Cutoff, Kansas City, MO 64133
  • Jan. 7, 10 am -2 pm, Quindaro Community Center, 2726 Brown Ave, Kansas City, KS 66104
  • Jan. 11, 9 am-3 pm, Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Center, 3700 Blue Parkway, Kansas City, MO 64130 Register:https://mako.exchange/scheduler/registration/?location=2730 Missouri residents only.
  • Jan. 13, 9 am-2 pm, Knights of Columbus, 5101 Blue Ridge Cutoff, Kansas City, MO 64133
  • Jan. 14, 10 am -2 pm, Quindaro Community Center, 2726 Brown Ave, Kansas City, KS 66104
  • Jan. 20, 9 am-2 pm, Knights of Columbus, 5101 Blue Ridge Cutoff, Kansas City, MO 64133
  • Jan. 21, 10 am -2 pm, Quindaro Community Center, 2726 Brown Ave, Kansas City, KS 66104
  • Jan. 25, 9 am-3 pm, Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Center, 3700 Blue Parkway, Kansas City, MO 64130 Register:https://mako.exchange/scheduler/registration/?location=2730 Missouri residents only.
  • Jan. 27, 9 am-2 pm, Knights of Columbus, 5101 Blue Ridge Cutoff, Kansas City, MO 64133
  • Feb. 1, 9 am-3 pm, Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Center, 3700 Blue Parkway, Kansas City, MO 64130 Register:https://mako.exchange/scheduler/registration/?location=2730 Missouri residents only.
  • Feb. 3, 9 am-2 pm, Knights of Columbus, 5101 Blue Ridge Cutoff, Kansas City, MO 64133
  • Feb 4, 9 am-3 pm, KCI Expo Center, 11730 N. Ambassador Drive, Kansas City, MO 64153 Register:https://mako.exchange/scheduler/registration/?location=2730 Missouri residents only.

 

A New Tool is Coming Soon


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A fifth tool– the new COVID-19 vaccines – will be available soon.

Swope Health will offer the free vaccines as soon as they are available, which will likely be in the early spring months of 2021.

While we’re sharing lists, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers 8 things you should know about the vaccines:

  1. They are safe.
  2. The two-dose vaccine will help protect you from getting COVID-19.
  3. While supplies are limited, the initial distribution is prioritized.
  4. Supplies of vaccines will increase, making it available for everyone.
  5. The vaccination may have side effects that show it is working and your body is building protection.
  6. The vaccine will be available at no cost (and any administration fees can be reimbursed).
  7. More vaccines are in development and will be reviewed for Emergency Use Authorization.
  8. Vaccines are an important tool to help stop the pandemic.

Swope Health will offer more information about the vaccines in coming weeks. Check back at our website or talk with our COVID-19 team at any of the community testing events. Or visit with your provider – telemedicine calls also available – by scheduling at 816-923-5800.

A Second Chance – A Welcome Diversion

Recently, a small group of nine Kansas City residents got together on a virtual meeting with Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney Jean Peters Baker, Rev. John Miles of Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church and representatives of Swope Health.

The occasion was a celebration, marking the first graduating class to successfully complete a new counseling program. As a result of completing the program, criminal charges pending against these nine residents were dropped.

The program is called NewStart2020. It is an idea launched in November by the Jackson County Prosecutor to help offenders avoid criminal charges. In this new diversion program, up to 60 non-violent felony offenders are asked to complete 20 hours of counseling, with additional support. If they complete the program, their non-violent felony charges (such as drug possession) are dropped.

The nine participants all received certificates of completion of the program’s counseling services, provided by Swope Health and modeled on Swope Health’s Imani House drug treatment programs.

Program leaders congratulated the participants as Prosecuting Attorney Baker pronounced the charges would not appear on their records. “I’m proud of you,” she said.

“Go forward, go forward, go forward,” said Swope Health President and CEO Jeron Ravin.

“I am grateful for program, and grateful for all of you who worked so hard,” said Rev. John Miles. “Now that you’ve got a new start, move forward in a positive way.”

In the program, Swope Health delivers the services at the Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church community center, which also provides case management, food and other support.

This program is similar to drug diversion, which is run through the Jackson County Drug Court. In the drug diversion process, cases are diverted after charges are filed. A judge oversees the case, and the entire process can take 12 to 18 months to complete.

The new pilot program is different in that it is a diversion before charges. Eligible participants are facing non-violent felony crimes, and will have the chance to wipe that arrest away by completing the 20-hour program. Persons charged with violent crimes, including domestic abuse or sex crimes, are not eligible.

The program leaders are now working on scheduling the next session and growing the participation, to help members of the community get a second chance.

Wicked Fun! Drive-through Treat Town Oct. 31

Trick or treating in the age of COVID-19? Yes, it sounds scary but Swope Health has a solution – a new, drive-through version of our annual Treat Town!

Please plan to join us 6:30-8:30 pm Saturday, Oct. 31, for a drive-through version of our annual Treat Town.  This year, our 25th annual event is redesigned as an outdoor-only drive-through treat giveaway at the parking lot at Swope Health Central.

From the safety of your vehicle, you will be guided to drive through a large (spooky) tent where we provide treat bags for children under age 12. All cars will enter the Swope Health Central main entrance, 3801 Blue Parkway, to participate.

We ask all participants to wear a face mask to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. Everyone stays in the car with just a quick stop to gather your treats!

Thanks to our partner Hot 103 Jamz for again supporting this free, safe trick-or-treating event.

VOTE! Get registered Mondays at Swope Health Central

Are you registered to vote? There’s still time – you can register to vote in the November election until Oct. 7.

Come to Swope Health, 10 am to noon on Mondays, where you can register, request a mail-in ballot or absentee ballot, get your application notarized or learn more about your polling place and what to expect on your ballot.

This service is provided by our partners at the Kansas City Public Library. They will be at Swope Health Central every Monday through Oct. 26 to answer questions and provide information – always non-partisan, factual, accurate information on your rights.

We encourage you to vote.

Important upcoming dates:

  • October 7: Last Day to Register before the General Election
  • October 21 at 5 p.m.: Last day to request a Mail-In Ballot or to receive an Absentee Ballot in the mail
  • November 2: Last day to request an Absentee Ballot in-person
  • November 3: General Election
  • Absentee ballots may be turned in by mail or in person. Mail-in ballots must be notarized and delivered by mail.

Notary Services for Absentee/Mail-in Ballots for the Nov. 3 Election:

  • Ballots must be signed, notarized, and received by the Election Board before 7 p.m. on election day. Ballots received after the deadline will not be counted.

Voters can have their ballot envelope notarized for free at the following locations:

Absentee ballots in 2020 do not need to be notarized if you are age 65 or older, have contracted coronavirus, or are at-risk due to any of the following:

  • Live in a long-term facility
  • Have a chronic lung disease/asthma
  • Have a serious heart condition
  • Are immunocompromised
  • Have diabetes
  • Have chronic kidney disease and are undergoing dialysis
  • Have liver disease

“Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves—and the only way they could do that is by not voting.”

– President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 5 October 1944

For accurate, non-partisan voting information, visit Vote411.org, a reference site operated by the League of Women Voters. The site includes information on registering, how to check your voter registration status, find your polling place, and find the ballot questions in your area.

In Stressful Times, Just Ask: Show Me Hope

These are stressful times.  COVID-19 affects everyone: Your neighbors, friends, colleagues, community, children, elder adults, family – even you.

If you need help coping, Swope Health is here for you.  We mean it when we say we’re in this together! We’ll help you learn new coping skills, provide information to keep you and your family safe, and connect you with the resources you need.

Call Swope Health’s Missouri Show Me Hope Crisis Line at 816-321-3613.  The crisis counseling program is confidential and free.

Some Quick Tips for Managing Stress during the COVID-19 Pandemic:

  • Take time away from news reports and social media to focus on things in your life that are going well and that you can control.
  • Talk to family and friends. You can still stay connected while physically distancing from others. Remember, others may also be experiencing stress about the pandemic and may find it helpful to talk about experiences and feelings.
  • Pay attention to your body. Recognize the early warning signs of stress and take time to renew your spirit through meditation, prayer, reflection or helping others in need.
  • Keep stress under control by exercising, eating healthy, reading or using relaxation techniques such as yoga.

Show Me Hope is a Crisis Counseling Program offered through the Missouri Department of Mental Health with support from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Additional resources:

Swope Health Supports National Community Health Center Week

National Community Health Center Week is Aug. 9-15, 2020, a time designated to celebrate the long record of success by Community Health Centers in delivering quality health care.

 

Swope Health is proud to support the effort.

 

At Swope Health, we will be participating in national, regional and local celebrations, including a thank you to our Associates.

 

  • Swope Health will be featured at Region 7 of the Federally Qualified Healthcare Centers virtual conference Monday, Aug. 10 (noon – 1:30 pm). The program is hosted from Nebraska and co-promoted by the National Healthcare for the Homeless Council. Terri Cooley-Bennett, Swope Health Outreach Supervisor, will speak on Homelessness and COVID-19.
  • Swope Health associates and patients are invited to write comments on posters, which will be displayed and shared on social media. Posters from all Swope Health satellite clinics will be collected and displayed at Central.
  • Swope Health is also using this week to focus attention on the public health and safety benefits of wearing a face mask. Swope Health joins cities and organizations across the country in the #MaskUp campaign, which encourages using a mask in public, keeping physical distance and practicing frequent hand washing. Our associates and patients are sending in photos of their mask-wearing style for social media promotion.
  • Swope Health Associates will be treated to ice cream Tuesday, Aug. 11. An ice cream truck will be at Swope Health Central and members of the Swope Health executive team will deliver treats to satellite clinics.
  • United Healthcare, in a month-long celebration of Community Health Centers, will provide lunches Aug. 13 to Swope Health associates working the COVID-19 pop-up testing clinic at Quindaro Community Center.
  • You can find Swope Health events on the National Community Health Center Events Log.

 

Across the country, 1,400 Community Health Centers provide services for more than 29 million people in rural and urban settings.  Community Health Centers were first formed in 1965 with federal support to increase access to primary healthcare. Community Health Centers advocate for patients and work to remove barriers to care, such as cost, lack of insurance, distance and language. Learn more.

As a result, Community Health Centers generate an estimated $24 billion in savings for the healthcare system, largely by providing access to primary care and reducing avoidable emergency department and hospital stays. Community Health Centers deliver a wide range of services, including preventive care to identify and care for illnesses like diabetes, asthma, heart and lung disease, depression and more.

We hope you’ll join us in celebrating Community Health Centers. We’re here for you!

 

COVID-19: Keep Safe, KC

Here’s a reminder for the Kansas City community about how you can take steps to prevent the spread of the COVID-19. To keep yourself safe:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Clean hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol (rub hands together until they feel dry) if you can’t wash with soap and water.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay home as much as possible.
  • Keep at least 6 feet away from other people if you need to go out.
  • Avoid people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces in your home, such as doorknobs, light switches, phones, table tops, and toilets.
  • Wear a mask whenever around others

These guidelines aren’t really new, but they remain important to protecting yourself and others from COVID-19, which spreads mostly by person-to-person contact.

At Swope Health, anyone entering any of our facilities will be asked about their health: Do you have any cough, fever, new shortness of breath? Everyone at Swope Health is required to wear a face mask.

You’ll also find hand sanitizer stations throughout our facilities, and we encourage frequent use.

Our associates take these same precautions, and are required to use only approved entrances for arriving and exiting throughout the day.

Swope Health continues to offer COVID-19 testing at our Central and Wyandotte clinics for people who:

  • Are experiencing symptoms of the disease that started within the last 14 days: cough, shortness of breath, headache, tiredness, muscle aches, or new loss of taste or smell.

Testing is available at Swope Health Central and Swope Health Wyandotte, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday for individuals with symptoms by appointment. Call 816-923-5800 to be scheduled for drive-through or walk-up testing.

More information: