Over the years, I’ve spoken repeatedly about the effort and time we put into our information channels here at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana. These avenues are designed to keep you up to date on healthcare issues, your coverage and how to maximize your benefits.
But Mike, what about Louisiana people who are not currently doing business with Blue Cross, what can you do for them?
Well, I maintain that everyone is either a Blue Cross customer or WANTS to be a Blue Cross customer. But there are other really well-staffed and solid information sources out there beyond what we offer.
Where to Look
For example, the federal marketplace at www.healthcare.gov is an incredible resource of information and coverage information.
If you crave something a tad more local, I highly recommend the Area Health Education Centers (AHECs) scattered around Louisiana. I find the Southwest and Central Louisiana AHECs especially useful. Their combined efforts contain tons of guidance for those seeking information about healthcare and healthcare coverage in Louisiana.
What You’ll Find
The gateway website I’ve found the most complete is www.swlahec.org. This site is chock-full, helping answer questions like:
- How can I access health insurance that is appropriate for my income level?
- What healthcare education programs are available for me?
- Where do I get certification classes or units for my medical career?
- What jobs are available in healthcare in our era of COVID-19, and how do I apply for them?
- Where can I get an HIV/STD test?
- Which schools have built-in dental clinics and when?
And the list goes on and on.
I find the AHEC sites very useful, especially in this time where misinformation about healthcare and COVID-19 is so rampant. They are also training people to help others navigate the healthcare system at no charge. This is an important step in decreasing Louisiana-specific gaps in health and racial equity. Here’s a link to one of their Facebook sites so you can see how critical their mission is firsthand.
Here at Blue Cross, our mission is “to improve the health and lives of Louisianians.” Of course, we cannot do this on our own. Highlighting key partners in our race to get everyone covered by health insurance is good for everyone, so I’m determined to do it here.
Straight Talk is, it’s going to take all of us to improve Louisiana’s health status. And Area Health Education Centers are important partners in this quest.
And don’t forget Blue Cross is a great source of information too. You can go to www.bcbsla.com and www.straighttalkla.com, call 1-844-Get Blue, or access a host of other touchpoints, including communication to our brokers and group leaders every day.