Guest editorial: Local answers to Summit County’s health care questions
It is no secret the cost of health insurance continues to rise in our corner of mountain paradise while the rate of individuals who go without insurance remains high. It is the Summit Community Care Clinic’s mission to provide quality health care to everyone, regardless of the patient’s ability to pay. The mission is ideal, but the financial model is inherently challenging. With approximately 50 percent of the Care Clinic’s funding coming from grants and donations, the Care Clinic is fortunate to have a partner in The Summit Foundation.
One of The Summit Foundation’s goals is to support working families in order to make it easier for people to navigate the high cost of living in Summit County. Many of the Foundation’s grants go to nonprofits who provide this support for families in our community, including the Care Clinic and FIRC. By purchasing insurance during open enrollment, many families may qualify for more affordable health care, which can translate to some real relief on the family budget. It is the shared philosophy that working families make up the fabric of the Summit community, and our community is committed to helping families be able to stay and raise their children here.
It is with this philosophy in mind that we encourage families to participate in open enrollment and meet with the Family and Intercultural Resource Center and see if they can get insurance at a lower rate. With or without insurance, the Care Clinic will work with patients to meet their needs, but when things escalate to a certain level and an outside specialist is required, uninsured patients could see insurmountable bills that could take years to pay off. Moreover, this sequence could affect the ability to afford housing and childcare, forcing families to relocate.
We understand at first glance, taking on the process of open enrollment may seem difficult and tedious, but that’s where the Family and Intercultural Resource Center can help. You can visit the FIRC at their offices or they can help you enroll in the Care Clinic on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
The Summit Community Care Clinic, The Summit Foundation, and the Family and Intercultural Resource Center continue to partner to find solutions for the rising cost of health care in Summit County and continue to make the process of attaining health care easier. We encourage all individuals who do not receive health care through their employer, to research their health care options. It really could make a world of difference.
Board Member of The Summit Community Care Clinic & Board President of The Summit Foundation
Executive Director of The Summit Foundation
Helen Royal, MA, LPC
Chief Executive Officer of The Summit Community Care Clinic
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