September 15, 2016 – One of the newer projects at Legal Aid is our Coverage to Care Initiative, which assists clients eliminate barriers to proper health care. Led by attorney Vicki Tucci Krusel, together with her paralegal Ebonie Taylor, this initiative improves the ability of disadvantaged and vulnerable resident populations, to access health care coverage and utilize this coverage once they have it through legal representation and systemic advocacy. It provides community education and outreach related to the Affordable Care Act and private utilization of health plans.
The Coverage to Care Initiative was birthed out of the Legal Aid’s Navigator Project, which assisted community members with enrollment in the Federal Marketplace. As the Navigator team was enrolling clients it became more and more apparent that many of these clients were facing challenges and barriers within the Federal Marketplace and there were no resources available to help them with these challenges. Vicki began to act as an advocate for those clients. In an effort to help more clients, Legal Aid received a grant from Quantum Foundation and the Coverage to Care Initiative was born. Ryan White Foundation also provides funding to help their clients navigate the Affordable Care Act.
Vicki and her team want the community to know that the Coverage to Care Legal Initiative is in existence. They are here to help when clients are denied insurance, can’t get their prescriptions or denied the right to hospitalization. Many times potential clients come to them too late and they aren’t able to provide the help they need. Vicki states, “as soon as a person is denied health care benefits, they need to call.” Assistance is provided not only with the Affordable Health Care Act but with private sector insurance issues as well. Vicki is highly trained and willing to speak and train the public and groups on the Affordable Care Act and health care.