Tag Archives: Affordable Care Act

Engaging our constituents

Recently, I had the opportunity to take part in two events that illustrate the breadth of the College’s impact on our community.

On Oct. 27, I attended our annual luncheon for the area’s K-12 district school superintendents. I shared our progress on accreditation, and spoke about advancing the development of Centers of Excellence around occupational professions at PCC. College personnel shared information about dual enrollment, Developmental Education, and Admissions & Recruitment. I want to commend the Provost’s Office for holding an informative event.

On Nov. 1 at our Downtown Campus, I took part in an informational event coinciding with the start of the Affordable Care Act’s 2016-2017 Open Enrollment period. I emphasized that as an institution of higher learning, PCC has a responsibility to make sure our students have access to the information they need to make informed decisions about their lives, including their health coverage.

Also taking part were Downtown Campus President Dr. David Doré, as well as Cynthia Estrada of the Pima County Enrollment Coalition and Melissa Stafford Jones, Regional Director for the Department of Health and Human Services. Thanks to all for helping the College connect with students and the community about a topic of high interest.

Keeping students informed about healthcare

healthACA blog pic Flipped

Helping students achieve their academic goals is, of course, a priority for Pima Community College. But we also are committed to a holistic approach that addresses students’ needs outside the classroom. Access to quality healthcare is an ongoing concern for many of our students.

CC student Rahsheen Taborn (at far right in photo), a U.S. Army veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, is grateful for the help PCC advisors and her fellow student-veterans provided as she searched for health insurance. But she knows that not everyone has that type of peer support. The reality is young adults have low health insurance literacy rates and are unfamiliar with basic terminology like co-pay and deductible. [Rahsheen, Downtown Campus’ student body president, is paying it forward by helping organize a healthcare information fair at Downtown in early 2015.]

Ensuring that all PCC students get a more complete understanding of the Affordable Care Act was one of the goals of a gathering Tuesday at Downtown Campus. The College was proud to host the information-sharing session, which was especially timely as the open enrollment period for health insurance began Nov. 15, and runs through Feb. 15, 2015.

The session featured talks by Rahsheen; Diane E. Brown, Executive Director of the Arizona PIRG Education Fund; Cynthia Estrada, outreach supervisor for Pima Community Access Program, which helps walk individuals through the health insurance enrollment process; and Kenneth Shapiro, Interim Regional Director for Department of Health and Human Services. A common emphasis was on getting out the facts, such as the reality that more than 120,000 Arizonans enrolled in health insurance last year, and that 25 percent of those people were ages 18-34 and 24 percent were Latino. PCC’s student demographics align with these statistics, making the College a natural location for disseminating information.

Young people often think of themselves as invincible, but the reality is they need health care coverage because it is essential to their economic security. If a person gets sick or is injured in an accident and doesn’t have health insurance, hospital and doctor bills can quickly exceed that person’s ability to pay. A single visit to the emergency room for an unexpected health situation can run into the thousands or tens of thousands of dollars. Coupled with college loans, living and other expenses, having no coverage can put a young person further into debt.

Contact information regarding the Affordable Care Act can be found on the College’s Health, Wellness and Safety webpage. Everyone knows someone whose life would be changed by affordable, quality health insurance. It is important that PCC, as an institution of higher learning, lets our students, faculty, staff and community know about their legal rights and options regarding healthcare, so that they can make informed decisions.

Affordable Care Act

On September 30, 2013, I along with Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Director Herb K. Schultz filmed a video message about the Affordable Care Act. As a public servant I feel it is important that I let our students, faculty, staff and community know about their legal rights and options. If you have specific questions about the ACA I would refer you to following sites for additional information: www.healthcare.gov and www.cuidadodesalud.gov.