Healthcare reforms were in initiated in the U.S. to help the governmentachieve several objectives, including an increase in the number ofinsured citizens, containing the cost of care, increase in access,and quality of care. Studies have shown that about 21 % of theuninsured citizens of the U.S. do not have an access to the internet(Duggan, 2013). To this end, different states have adopted variousmethods of helping people without access to the internet sign-up forhealth care reforms including those that are provided under theAffordable Care Act.
Thefirst method is training of Certified Application Counselors, who arelocated in different locations, especially the most vulnerableregions. These counselors are authorized to guide people through theprocess of signing-up either in their private practice offices wherecharges for those services are paid by the state government or boththe state and the federal government (Holleman, 2015). In this case,the internet and the computer are owned by the counselor. Apart fromhelping citizens sin-up, the counselors enlighten applicants aboutthe benefits of different health care reform programs and theresponsibilities that they will have to bear after signing up.
Thesecond strategy is the establishment of collaboration between thestate health care agencies and public libraries. A few public libraryemployees are trained as trainers of citizens who wish to sign-up atpublic library facilities (Duggan, 2013).
Thethird strategy involves the outreach programs that are conducted byorganizations that are contracted by the state government to enhancepublic awareness and help citizens who cannot access the internetsign-up (Duggan, 2013). For example, the state of New York contractedabout 21 organizations to conduct civic education and help citizenssign-up for health care reform programs (NYS Health Foundation,2015).
Inconclusion, health care reforms have provided numerous opportunities,but the most vulnerable citizens might miss these opportunities dueto lack of access to the internet. State governments contractorganizations to increase public awareness, collaborate with publiclibraries, and independent counselors who help those who have noaccess to the internet services sign-up.
Duggan,M. (2013). 21% of Americans without health insurance do not use the internet.Washington, DC: Pew Research Center.
Holleman,J. (2015). 23 questions and answers about the Affordable Care Act inSC. TheState.Retrieved January 17, 2016, fromhttp://www.thestate.com/news/business/health-care/article14442950.html
NYSHealth Foundation (2015). Healthcoverage.New York, NY: NYS Health Foundation.