North Texas Healthcare Coverage Collaborative launches to address growing number of uninsured residents



United Way of Metropolitan Dallas (UWMD), the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council and the Dallas County Enroll North Texas ACA Coalition announced the launch of the North Texas Healthcare Coverage Collaborative (NTHCC), an innovative collaboration formed to address the growing number of uninsured North Texans, as a result of COVD-19, by providing financial assistance to maintain healthcare insurance coverage.

The W.W. Caruth, Jr. Fund of Communities Foundation of Texas, Medical City Healthcare and Methodist Health System have generously contributed seed funding for this initiative of $200,000, $100,000 and $25,000 respectively.

NTHCC, through partner nonprofit organizations, will provide up to three months of financial assistance to recently unemployed individuals who have lost their employer-sponsored insurance (ESI) as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Clients must reside in Collin, Dallas, Denton or Tarrant County, and show documentation of unemployment or reduction in hours that prevents them from receiving benefits.

“Along with education and income, healthcare is one of the building blocks of opportunity,” said Susan Hoff, Chief Impact & Strategy Officer of United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. “This effort links directly to United Way’s Aspire United 2030 Goal of ensuring that all North Texans have access to affordable health coverage and quality care.”

A lack of health insurance often correlates with hesitancy to seek medical care, including preventive care and treatment for chronic conditions, which in turn can lead to increased emergency visits. Further, the inability to pay for healthcare has a long-term impact on a family’s finances, including risk of predatory collections, loss of assets, and bankruptcy.

“Increasing the number of North Texans with comprehensive health care coverage improves access to timely, medically necessary health care services,” said Erol Akdamar, president of Medical City Healthcare. “Medical City Healthcare is proud to support this initiative to provide crucial relief when it’s needed most.”

“The Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council and its member hospitals are supporting this initiative because so many people have lost their healthcare coverage, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their medical treatments can now continue without interruption. This collaboration is a great representation of the generosity of North Texas residents as they strive to improve the health of their communities,” said Stephen Love, President/CEO of the DFW Hospital Council.

The founding members of the collaborative are developing a common online pre-application for eligible clients, eligibility criteria, and options for available financial assistance. United Way will serve as the program coordinator of the NTHCC and will lead the selection process for participating nonprofit organizations that must have experience in health access and enrollment, an established program with robust case management services, and the trust of the communities they serve in the four-county area.

Each participating nonprofit organization will provide intake assessment for prospective clients to determine eligibility. Once deemed eligible, each organization will work directly with the individual and insurance provider to arrange payment of the healthcare coverage premium for three months and enroll eligible members of the household. Participants will be enrolled in the Bronze or Silver Healthcare Plans from the Health Insurance Marketplace. Payments may vary based on coverage selected but are anticipated to range from $150 to $300 per month.

“We are proud to support this innovative new collaboration that will help support the recently unemployed who have lost employer-sponsored insurance. Helping community members access coverage as the pandemic unfolds is critical. We hope others will join us in this effort to advance equity related to healthcare access across our communities,” said Sarah Cotton Nelson, Chief Philanthropy Officer at Communities Foundation of Texas.

“For over 93 years, Methodist Health System has been committed to serving North Texans, including those most in need,” said Jim Scoggin, CEO of the Methodist Health System. “We see supporting this important effort to help the uninsured as an extension of our mission.”

To learn more about how to provide support, contact Daniel Bouton at [email protected].