A grant from the Colorado Health Foundation in October of 2017 jumpstarted the Colorado Black Health Collaborative’s (CBHC) efforts to address the important issue of health insurance literacy in our community. Maximizing health insurance through adequate literacy is a key issue when the community needs to utilize formal health services to be healthy.
The overall goal of the Form a Lifetime of Optimal Wellness (F.L.O.W) Health Insurance Literacy Program is to increase the number of Black/African-American residents in Denver and Aurora who are aware of this program and have access to information that improves their health insurance literacy.
We anticipate health insurance literacy challenges experienced by the community will include issues such as difficulties with understanding and using health insurance, understanding cost-sharing and medical services terminology, navigating the choices of health plans, choosing an ‘optimal’ plan, distrust of health insurance information and determining the best value when choosing a plan or changing health providers.
“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
World Health Organization (WHO)
The initial phase of the HIL Program will determine and address the challenges experienced by the Black/African-American community in Colorado related to their ability to understand health insurance and to improve their ability to access, navigate and utilize the health insurance system. Our target audience is Black/African American male and female adults between the ages of 18-55+ who are already enrolled in a private health insurance plan and/or Medicaid. We will utilize surveys and focus groups to get a baseline, and clear understanding of the challenges that the Black/African American community faces.
CBHC will utilize information obtained to develop a mix of print/radio as well as social media messaging that is culturally appealing and appropriate for Blacks/African-Americans. Health insurance literacy toolkits, fact sheets, brochures and videos will also be developed and made available for download on CBHC’s FLOW Denver website for the general public and partners to download and share.
We will work with a CBHC’s current network of clinical and community partners to launch the information. Additionally, CBHC will conduct a series of health insurance literacy forums/workshops in the community before and during the health insurance enrollment periods and throughout the year to facilitate uptake of knowledge. We will also, inform the community about how to access free or low cost community-based resources through the FLOW online resource directory. These community-based resources will help to extend health benefits to areas that might not be covered by health insurance.
The more you know, the more you F.L.O.W.