Bilingual health care guides provide resources for uninsured
by Mary Beth Faller -
Less than half of children without health insurance visited a doctor for a checkup last year, and more than 40 percent of uninsured kids with chronic illnesses skipped needed medical care, according to a new report issued by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
The report, released last week, found that in Arizona, 5.2 percent of children with special health-care needs had no insurance.
There are services out there for uninsured sick kids, but until now, there was no single place to find them. Last week, Gov. Janet Napolitano unveiled the new Arizona Health Guide: Resources for the Uninsured. The booklet was published by the National Association of Hispanic Nurses with a grant from the Pfizer pharmaceutical company.
"There are a lot of resources out there, but there's never been a compilation until now," says Annabell Castro, president of the Phoenix chapter of the nurses' group.
In Arizona, there are 1.2 million people without health insurance, about 20 percent of the population, compared with 18 percent nationwide. About a third of uninsured people are Hispanic, and 80 percent of the uninsured are working families.
The guide, in English on one side and Spanish on the other, lists phone numbers and locations for services such as primary and urgent care, immunizations, obstetrical care, chronic disease management, dental care, the Well Woman HeathCheck program, prescription assistance, X-rays, birth control, substance-abuse services, translation services and mental-health care.
The guide also lists health services available for homeless people, veterans, Indians and senior citizens, as well as affordable insurance plans.
Arizona Health Guide will be available at more than 260 health-care providers, social-service agencies and government offices around the state. For more information, go to az211.org or call 888-720-1337.