The Obama administration on Thursday launched the Healthy Self campaign to better explain health care benefits to those newly insured, connect people to coverage, and encourage healthy lifestyles.
The campaign seeks to focus on health literacy and preventive services for the newly insured, as well as those who have always had insurance, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, said during an Enroll America sponsored conference in Washington. The campaign will include 50 events across the nation through August and partnerships with the private sector to educate Americans about the preventive actions they can take to stay healthy and well, Burwell said.
Lets face it, understanding our benefits can be confusing for anyone, especially those who have coverage for the first time, she added. Many people still dont know that preventive services are now guaranteed by the Affordable Care Act.
In fact, after a recent annual checkup with her own child, Burwell said she went to pay a co-pay to her childs doctor, forgetting there no longer is a co-pay for an annual well-child visit.
The program, in partnership with HHS, The White House and the Surgeon Generals office aims to educate people about preventive actions to stay healthy and well. The Surgeon General, Vice Admiral Vivek H. Murthy, M.D., will focus on healthy eating, physical activity, living a tobacco- and drug-free lifestyle, addressing issues of emotional and mental well-being, and addressing issues of violence, especially violence against women, Burwell said.
Women have unique health needs and often act as the health care decision-makers for their families, she added. Because of that, we will make connecting them with a priority.
In a blog post, Senior Adviser to President Barack Obama Valerie Jarrett wrote that every year, chronic diseases including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes are responsible for 7 of every 10 deaths in America.
These illnesses account for 75% of the nations health spending, she explained, yet each is either preventable or much more effectively treated if caught early.
Too often, Jarrett wrote, young adults bypass checkups and screenings, miss the potential to catch problems early, and end up using the most expensive option available the emergency room.
Burwell said the administration does not plan to run the program alone. We are excited about the potential of this campaign, but we know we cant do this alone, she said. And we also know that with the creativity and innovation happening from our business and nonprofit partners, we dont have to.
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