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There is a health awareness month, day or week for just about every health condition imaginable. Health awareness holidays exist as conversation starters and prompts to raise awareness about health.

Do you have to manage diabetes? How is that going? What are your struggles? Have you found something that helps? Are there others who are going through what you are? What are they doing about it?

Are you taking heart medication? How do you feel when you take it? Is it working for you? Do you think the medication is doing enough to help you manage your condition, or do you need to introduce something new? What does your doctor think?

Do you have a child who has asthma? Is the condition under control, or has something changed? Have there been changes that make you think it is time for something different? Is it time to check in with a professional for an expert opinion about what is normal?

Is a digestive condition acting up? Do you know what is aggravating this condition, and are you aware of little changes that make you feel better? Would it hurt to ask a doctor or nurse about it?

Did you know that if you are a Medicaid beneficiary, and an Amerigroup Maryland member, you don’t have to wonder about health conditions because Amerigroup makes it easy and free to ask questions and get expert advice?

Health awareness holidays also serve as opportunities to remind people that it is important to learn more about health disparities and take steps to achieve better health outcomes.

Did you know that a University of Michigan study found that people who are black, including Black babies, are five times more likely to be poisoned by lead? Did you know that babies should be screened for lead poisoning and Medicaid insurers, such as Amerigroup, not only cover the cost of screening, but also offer rewards for having your baby screened?

Did you know that researchers found that if Black women started getting mammograms by age 40, it could reduce cancer deaths among Black women by 57 percent? Did you know that not only does Amerigroup Maryland cover the cost of breast screening for women 40 and older, but will even incentivize eligible members with up to $50 in rewards for getting screened?

Did you know that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that people who are Black have the highest incidence of tooth decay and higher levels of vision loss? Did you also know that adults age 21 and older, who are Amerigroup Medicaid members, can take advantage of certain dental and vision care services at no cost?

Did you know that if you are an Amerigroup Medicaid member in Maryland and having trouble keeping up with screenings, doctors’ appointments and covered benefits, you can get help by calling the Amerigroup Customer Service number on the back of your ID card, checking out Amerigroup’s member website, or even downloading Amerigroup’s mobile app?

April is Minority Health Month and an opportunity to empower the Black community to learn about health disparities, conditions and opportunities that can directly impact their lives.

Did you know that Harvard study on U.S. health disparities found that people who are Black have higher rates of diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease than other groups, and that Black children have a 500% higher death rate from asthma compared with white children?

Did you know that some studies continue to report that racial minorities, including people who are Black, receive lower-quality care, even when they are socioeconomically equal in terms of education and income?

Did you know that more adults who are Black report that they cannot see a doctor because of cost, even though most preventative services are free without cost-sharing for adults, women and children who have Medicaid and most other forms of health insurance coverage?

Did you know that Amerigroup has programs and benefits in place to help all of its members, regardless of race or color, so they can overcome health disparities, close care gaps and reclaim their health? Did you know that it is easy to become empowered with knowledge of these Amerigroup supports by simply visiting www.myamerigroup.com/md?

Empowerment starts with awareness, so take time to learn more about your health. Read up about certain health conditions, and talk to a professional about what is expected and what can be better. Furthermore, don’t wait to take action, especially if you are at higher risk. Start reclaiming your health today!

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