Health Care: D.C. Church helps residents sign up for health care

WASHINGTON (WJLA) -- Senior Pastor Reverend Henry White does 200 push-ups a day. And his parishioners at Brown Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Church get health care classes and monthly blood pressure checkups. Now, his church will help uninsured city residents sign up for the new health care exchange.

His primary assignment? Convincing younger adults that they need coverage.

“Health insurance is now affordable for them, and it's best to have prevention then the cure, says Reverend White.

DC Health Link assistants will even fill out the forms for residents who need the extra help.

Executive Director of DC Health Link Mila Kofman confirms: “Consumers do not need to be web-savvy, computer-savvy. You don't ever have to use computers. We will have people on the ground everywhere to help you do that."

According to Janice Ferebee, who heads the Women’s Business Center in the District, "A lot of our small businesses were concerned that there was just a very limited number of providers. Now, there's a larger number."

Exchange providers now include Aetna, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, Kaiser Permanente, and United. They are offering 34 policies for individuals and 267 policy choices for small businesses.

Maria Gomez with Mary’s Center for Maternal and Child Care wants more D.C. residents to understand that having insurance can aave lives thanks to routine checkups and access to better care.

"We see so many people that come in too late," says Gomez. "They died of cervical cancer ... That should not happen."

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