Sign up to stay connected
Get the top stories of the day around the DMV.
One of the many valuable lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic is that preparation for healthcare emergencies requires much more than most of us imagined. The scarcity of essential resources during the pandemic was a wake-up call. News media outlets reported the stories of front-line workers forced to put themselves at risk and vaccine shortages at clinics in economically challenged areas. In addition, as many suddenly discovered that their houses were too small to accommodate multiple family members simultaneously working and learning from home, the necessity of accessible public parks and green spaces became more apparent.
A strong Wi-Fi connection and an adequate data plan enabled many families to connect with doctors and stay current on their children’s academic progress. Food and transportation were also radically altered as increased demand and diminished supply catalyzed community organizations to develop clever solutions to help meet the needs of their communities.
Accessibility to treatment and care; job stability with livable wages; access to safe green spaces close to your home; food security and grocery stores with well-stocked shelves; reliable transportation are just some of the social factors that impact physical health and well-being.
At the height of the pandemic, many struggled to access vital resources due to shortages in supply—healthcare systems were stretched to the limit with increased demand. Now that President Biden has officially ended the public health emergency, healthcare providers are gradually increasing services to meet pent-up demand. Organizations like Amerigroup DC are helping Medicaid enrollees address the needs they care about most when it comes to being well in a holistic way.
As the COVID-19 outbreak shifts from a pandemic to an endemic, many government emergency resources and relief funds have run dry, leaving some grappling with unequal social drivers. The results have negatively affected the health and wellness outcomes for people on Medicaid and Medicare.
The disruptions of the pandemic meant that many people were not able to see their doctors for scheduled check-ups, treatments, and services. In the aftermath of the pandemic, it is crucial to re-establish that schedule of annual checkups, vaccinations, and dental and vision appointments.
The pandemic taught us many things. We know more than ever how critical it is for Amerigroup DC to continue to collaborate with community organizations to address the underlying social needs that prevent people from being healthy.
And we also learned how having reliable healthcare coverage is essential.
If you are a Medicaid recipient, don’t miss out on important information. If you haven’t already, take time today to update your address, phone number, and/or email address at districtdirect.dc.gov so that DHCF knows where to send your Medicaid renewal letter. If you need additional help, you can call the Public Benefits Call Center at 202-727-5355.
Jasmin Saville is Whole Health Director for Amerigroup DC.