Aug. 18, Lunch: Learn about TexHealth Dallas County at Oak Cliff Chamber luncheon meeting
by Sharon Adams
Tue, Aug 17, 2010, 01:30 PM
Don Spies, President and CEO, North Texas 3-Share Plan, will speak and give a brief presentation about TexHealth Dallas County, the first initiative of the NorthTexas 3-Share Plan, at the Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, August 18 at noon. It's BYOL (bring your own lunch). There will be Q & A afterwards. Media is welcome to join us. Don will stay for brief interviews.
We encourage all small business (50 employees or less) owners to join us and learn the details of this new plan that is effective in six communities in the coalition: Brazos Valley, Central Texas, El Paso County, Galveston County, Harris County and as of August 1, Dallas County.
Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce
400 South Zang Blvd.
Dallas, TX 75208
Dallas County Has a New Tool to Help the Uninsureds of Small Employers
TexHealth Dallas County is the first initiative of the NorthTexas 3-Share Plan
The North Texas 3-Share Plan (NT3) is a newly incorporated 501(c)3 organization in DallasCounty.It was created to market and implement a low-cost subsidized healthcare plan for mid- and low-wage employees of small employers – the very employers exempted from the Healthcare Reform mandates, but whose employees will be required to purchase a healthcare plan for themselves. “TexHealth Dallas County,” a multi-share plan, is the first initiative of NT3.
It is being supported by State and Federal Grants and the Parkland Health & Hospital System, and is a member of the TexHealth Coalition, a statewide voluntary association of Texas Communities that have banded together to reduce the number of uninsureds in their respective communities.Six communities participate in the coalition: Brazos Valley, Central Texas, El Paso County, Galveston County, Harris County and Dallas County.
In a 3-Share or multi-share plan the employee, employer and public or philanthropic funds each contribute to the healthcare plan.The multi-share plan is not insurance but, rather, a self-funded health plan focused on wellness, primary and preventative health care.
“TexHealth Dallas County will be a major step in providing low-cost healthcare plans to low-wage employees of small employers who are excluded from the mandates of Healthcare Reform,” said Don Spies, President of the North Texas 3-Share Plan.“The 3-Share plan offers the best opportunity to provide a medical home for a large number of low-wage working individuals for the least cost of public funds since contributions are also required from the employer and employee in order to participate in the program.”
Parkland Hospital will benefit from the plan by a reduction in non-emergent care in its emergency room, effective early diagnosis and reduced hospitalization of low-wage patients due to late diagnosis.
In addition to the obvious issue of access to affordable care from an employer and societal standpoint having, or not having, a healthcare program and a “medical home” have the following consequences:
Lack of healthcare reduces timely and efficient use of medical care
Lower medical care use reduces health
Poor health reduces ability to work and results in lower productivity
Uninsureds are likely to be diagnosed at late stages for major diseases
Having healthcare reduces mortality rates by 10-15%
“Better” health increases earnings by 10-30%
From an employee standpoint, having a medical home means less time waiting in emergency rooms, an opportunity to focus on wellness with the likelihood of fewer illnesses, a lesser need for extensive medical care, and costs that are affordable.Helene Royal, TexHealth Program Coordinator, noted that,“Having a healthcare plan with access to doctors and clinics also provides dignity to the individual in need of care, as they know that their provider will be reimbursed for services rendered.”
The Parkland Health & Hospital System and its Community Oriented Primary Care Clinics are to be complimented for their support of this program.
It is no secret that Texas has the highest rate of people without health insurance in the United States, 25% by a recent Employee Benefit Research Institute analysis.
In Dallas County the rate of uninsureds is even higher – over 30% have no health insurance.Approximately 85% of the uninsureds are working adults.The problem of lack of health insurance is particularly severe among small employers (less than 50 employees) since over 60 % of small employers do not provide health insurance to their employees.
But, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, health coverage is an important employment consideration:
·77% of employees consider benefits “very important” in their decision to take a job.
·60% claim that medical benefits are the most important of all.
Health reform will not force small employers to provide health insurance for their employees as they will be exempted from the health reform mandates.
On June 3, 2009, President Obama wrote to Senators Kennedy and Baucus, setting forth a key element of his health reform package: “…while I believe that employers have a responsibility to support health insurance for their employees, small businesses face a number of special challenges in affording health benefits and should be exempted.”
All Texans currently pay a premium rate for covering the uninsured.In fact, it is estimated that for the average family, the cost for caring for uninsured patients results in annual premiums that are $1,550 higher than if all Texans had health coverage.
For further information about TexHealth Dallas County and the North Texas 3-Share Plan, please contact: