NAME OF SPONSORING BODY: FirstHealth of the Carolinas
LOCATION: North Carolina
BACKGROUND: The four counties covered by FirstHealth-Moore, Montgomery, Richmond, and Hoke-are predominately Caucasian and African American with a small percentage of Native Americans, and Asians and a growing population of Hispanics. The average percentage of uninsured in these counties is 14.5%. While the unemployment rate is rather low, many of those employed work for small businesses and are uninsured because insurance is either extremely expensive or, in some cases, unavailable.
NAME OF HEALTH PLAN: FirstConnection
SUMMARY OF HEALTH PLAN: The FirstConnection health coverage program provides health-related services to uninsured migrant children and adults who do not qualify for public assistance.
CONTROLLED BY: Administered by FirstCarolinaCare
HOW IT WORKS: FirstHealth focuses on preventive and primary care versus emergency room visits. The plan includes dental, well-check, and sick visits. Once children are enrolled, they are assigned a case manage who conducts initial health assessments, schedules physicals, and arranges for any other needed services.
UNIQUE FEATURES: FirstHealth believes that the key to the program's success is providing case management along with access to medical services. Wrap-around services, such as transportation, child-restraint seats, and interpretation are provided on an as-needed basis. FirstHealth offers Spanish-speaking staff.
TARGET POPULATION TO SERVE: Uninsured migrant children and adults who do not qualify for public assistance. Enrollment continues on a first-come, first-serve basis until 200 children and adults are signed up.
FINANCIAL DETAILS: FirstConnection is a pilot project limited to the funding available from Community Voices, a multi-year program of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. FirstHealth of the Carolinas is one of 13 local learning laboratories established in 1998 to meet the national Community Voices goal of addressing the needs of those without adequate health care.