Friday, March 31st, marked the end of continuous Medicaid coverage, which was part of
the Public Health Emergency (PHE) declared by the federal government as a response to the
COVID-19 pandemic. There are millions of Texas residents that are predicted to lose their
coverage, which illuminates a need to support our community in navigating these changes. Increasing awareness, education of available resources, and action taken is important to reduce the amount of people who lose or experience a gap in coverage as a result of the PHE ending.
So, what can we do to help spread the word?
In their End of Federal Public Health Emergency Communications Toolkit, the North Carolina
Department of Health and Human Services shares information about using a "Surround Sound"
communications outreach strategy. This strategy focuses on the relationship between beneficiaries and trusted messengers, such as friends and family, community leaders, providers,
and government entities. Information and resources can be provided to these messengers to
share the message about the PHE ending, in a way that builds trust and credibility. Here in
Waco, Texas, we can utilize this strategy to reach the over 260,000 residents of McLennan
In order to ensure that we are effectively supporting our fellow community members, it is
critical that we collaborate to establish a network of information and assistance surrounding
this topic. As community members, leaders, and influencers in our personal networks, we can all
play a part in helping to spread the word about the PHE ending by connecting individuals with
other trusted messengers that can provide necessary assistance and resources.
The Texas Health and Human Services Commission has existing efforts to notify individuals, by
mail or electronically, when they need to renew their Medicaid coverage. In addition, many
community-based organizations and providers are offering sites for public use to apply or renew
benefits using computers and/or with the help of trained staff.
Prosper Waco is proud to be working together with some of our community partners, such as
Highview Insurance Group, Meals on Wheels, Shepherd's Heart, Baylor Scott & White,
McLennan County Public Health District, Heart of Texas Goodwill, Waco Family Medicine, and
McLennan County Indigent Care. We are looking forward to distributing business cards with
information about the "Unlock Healthcare" website, created by our Access to Health Care
working group. By connecting them with local resources, our goal is to help people to navigate
the next steps that meet their circumstances and needs.
If you are interested in partnering with us to spread the word about the PHE ending, please
contact email@example.com or visit www.unlockhealth.care for more information.
Together, we can spread the word about the PHE ending!
Karissa Maeda is working on her Public Health degree at Baylor University,
and currently serves as an intern at Prosper Waco.