Health education students become Certified Application Counselors to help community apply for health coverage

Gia and students 1

Enrollment Specialist Gia Carroll assists a woman with her application as undergraduate health education students Ken Overbaugh and Stephanie Suminski observe.

Students in Dr. Shan Parker’s undergraduate Strategies in Health Education course have trained to become Certified Application Counselors (CAC’s) to assist members of the community in applying for health coverage. Dr. Parker worked with Hamilton Community Health Network, Inc., a local non-profit, to get students trained and ready to go out into the community as CAC’s. Marcie Roberts, M.S. in health education student and outreach enrollment specialist at Hamilton, coordinated and trained the class. The students have already observed and volunteered at five enrollment drives, and will continue their enrollment work throughout the coming weeks. With the open enrollment period looming, Hamilton and other community organizations are anxious to help people get the coverage they need.

Stephanie Suminski distributes educational literature.

Stephanie Suminski distributes educational literature.

Ken Overbaugh, a senior in the health education program, gave his perspective on the experience of becoming and working as a CAC.

Overall, the application is a simple process. One issue, which is where CAC’s play an important role, is health literacy. The health literacy level of some of the questions on the application may be above the health literacy level of the clients we serve. It is very important for the CAC to determine the health literacy level of the person they are serving, and adjust their approach to that level. We have this tremendous opportunity as health education students to help serve our local community in getting health coverage. However, if we can’t explain it to them, how can we sell it to them?”

Ken Overbaugh gives his reasons for getting healthcare coverage under ACA.

Ken Overbaugh gives his reasons for getting healthcare coverage under ACA.

Hamilton is hosting several enrollment events this month, at which the new CAC’s will be observing and working. Upcoming events include:

Saturday, March 15
International Academy of Flint | 2820 S. Saginaw St.
10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Saturday, March 22
International Academy of Flint | 2820 S. Saginaw St.
3 p.m. – 7 p.m.

 

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