December 2002

Grant Results

SUMMARY

In 2000, the Anchorage Access to Health Care Coalition collected information on health care access in the community and engaged the community in developing options to improve access.

The coalition is an organization comprising Anchorage leaders in health care, business, academia and government that seeks to improve access to health care for those in Anchorage who are uninsured or medically underserved.

Key Findings
A report entitled On the Edge: Living Without Health Insurance in the City of Lights highlighted the following findings:

  • The uninsured and leaders alike were leery of government control of health care.
  • Instead of government involvement, many uninsured participants and community leaders urged:
    • Greater support for businesses to offer reasonable health benefit packages.
    • The government to support a way for those without work-covered health benefits to tap into health benefit packages available to state and local employees.
  • Both groups also described a stigma attached to being uninsured, stemming from a belief that the responsibility for health care belongs to the individual.
  • Community leaders want to continue a dialogue to determine strategies, in both the public and private sectors, that would enhance access to health care.

Funding
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) supported this project through a grant of $5,000 to APCA, Inc. (the Alaska Primary Care Association), one of the coalition members.

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THE PROJECT

The Anchorage Access to Health Care Coalition collected information on health care access in the community and engaged the community in developing options to improve access.

The coalition — which includes the grantee organization, APCA, Inc. (the Alaska Primary Care Association), as a member — is an organization comprising Anchorage leaders in health care, business, academia and government that seeks to improve access to health care for those in Anchorage who are uninsured or medically underserved.

The coalition commissioned a study of both people who are uninsured and community leaders who shape policies affecting the uninsured. Twenty-seven uninsured Anchorage residents participated in focus groups, and 15 community leaders, including the mayor of Anchorage, were interviewed.

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FINDINGS

The Coalition presented findings in a report entitled On the Edge: Living Without Health Insurance in the City of Lights. The findings included the following.

  • The uninsured and leaders alike were leery of government control of health care.
  • Instead of government involvement, many uninsured participants as well as community leaders urged:
    • Greater support for businesses to offer reasonable health benefit packages.
    • The government to support a way for those without work-covered health benefits to tap into health benefit packages available to state and local employees.
  • Both groups also described a stigma attached to being uninsured, stemming from a belief that the responsibility for health care belongs to the individual.
  • Community leaders want to continue a dialogue to determine strategies, in both the public and private sectors, that would enhance access to health care. The uninsured participants expressed eagerness to find solutions and are willing to pay for them.

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GRANT DETAILS & CONTACT INFORMATION

Project

Improving Access to Health Care for the Uninsured Through Research, Education, and Discussion

Grantee

APCA, Inc. (Anchorage,  AK)

  • Amount: $ 5,000
    Dates: April 2000 to December 2000
    ID#:  038524

Contact

Catherine Schumacher, M.D., M.S.P.H.
(907) 269-4619
schukalt@alaska.net

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

(Current as of date of this report; as provided by grantee organization; not verified by RWJF; items not available from RWJF.)

Reports

Colwell C and Hoffbauer D. On the Edge: Living Without Health Insurance in the City of Lights. Anchorage, Alaska: Anchorage Access to Health Care Coalition, 2000.

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Report prepared by: Rebecca M. Loew
Reviewed by: Janet Heroux
Reviewed by: Robert Crum
Program Officer: Frank Karel

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