Next Wednesday on Nov 11th, Seattle Counseling Service and Gay City are teaming up to put together a health fair to help people get signed up for health insurance. Do you need to enroll in a health insurance plan or Medicaid? Did you try to enroll but got stuck? Are you not sure which plans will cover your health needs? Then the Get Insured Health Fair is the place to be. “The GET INSURED Health Fair is a welcoming space to help people sign up for health insurance,” said Lindsay Garske, who works at Seattle Counseling Service and is coordinating the event. “The more people that are insured the healthier our community can be!” There will also be free lunch, HIV and Hep C testing, and other giveaways.
Several healthcare navigators will be present at the health fair to help walk people through the process, including Gay City’s Emmett Stanfield, Kyon Saucier, and Tobi Hill-Meyer. Each of them had a lot to say about why they were engaged in this work.
“We know when it comes to health disparities in LGBTQ communities, a lot of our survival rates depend on early detection,” said Emmett, Gay City Community Organizer. “Having healthcare that covers regular HIV and STI testing and other screenings can make a big difference.”
“Getting insurance is an investment in yourself,” added Tobi, Gay City Communications Coordinator. “When so many of us are told that we don’t matter, it’s a reminder that your survival is worth investing in.”
Helping people get insured is a major priority for the End AIDS Washington campaign. According to the 2014 King County HIV/AIDS Epidemiology Report, “Twenty-five percent of those without current coverage reported not taking prescribed medication because of the cost,” and that can have a big impact for people on treatement for HIV or PrEP. When people have access to insurance and a regular medical provider, their medical outcomes are significantly better.
“As someone who is HIV positive, I realize how different my life would be if I don’t have resources like this,” Kyon, Gay City Community Organizer, pointed out. “There’s so many people in our world who don’t have resources, so when you’ve got the opportunity to get access to healthcare – take it!”
You can meet and get assistance from these three Wednesday Nov 11 from 12-4pm at Gay City (517 E Pike St)