UnitedHealthcare has donated $15,000 to Health Literacy Missouri (HLM) to support its efforts to promote health literacy for low-income families.
HLM received the grant to support efforts to help Medicaid-eligible consumers in medically underserved communities access and understand their health benefits. The grant will enable HLM to host a series of focus groups with Medicaid consumers, uninsured community members, and health care professionals, providing an opportunity for HLM to identify barriers to care and help improve health literacy by addressing gaps in consumer knowledge about health care.
These focus groups will take place in southeastern Missouri – a region in which more than 40 percent of the population live at or below national poverty levels, and where health care access issues, including health literacy, have been linked to health disparities. This project will generate a deeper understanding of the barriers to care in this underserved, rural region, with the ultimate goal of improving consumer satisfaction and health outcomes.
“We are excited to partner with UnitedHealthcare on this important project,” said Catina O’Leary, Ph.D., LMSW, HLM president and CEO. “Interacting with Missourians in this way will give us a much deeper understanding of the attitudes and feelings in communities that affect health care access and use.”
Missouri ranked 36th out of 50 states for overall health, according to the 2015 America’s Health Rankings® report, which also noted that Missouri was in the bottom half of the country on measures including public health funding (46th), lack of health insurance (29th) and disparity of health status by education level (28th).
“We are grateful for the opportunity to provide additional resources to HLM, an organization that helps families live healthier lives and extends the reach of critical programs and services, particularly for our state’s underserved populations,” said Yasmine Winkler, central region CEO, UnitedHealthcare Community & State. UnitedHealthcare serves more than 1.3 million Missourians enrolled in employer-sponsored, individual, Medicare and TRICARE health plans with a network of 162 hospitals and nearly 26,000 physicians and other care providers statewide. UnitedHealth Group and its companies employ more than 3,200 Missourians – including nearly 1,800 employees hired since 2013.