Most people receive health coverage through their place of employment. However, with the continued downward trend in the economy and increasing fiscal pressures, many employers are either dropping health benefits or increasing the cost to the point that employees can no longer afford to pay their contribution for coverage.
New programs known as Local Access to Care Programs, or LACPs, are being developed to give access to a network of providers who agree to offer care at a lower discounted fee or for free. A new study in The Milbank Quarterly highlights the importance of LACPs as an alternative to traditional health insurance that builds on the tradition of county-based care for the poor.
The research identified and documented new locally based health access programs in the United States that are being developed around the country to meet the health care needs of the growing number of uninsured adults for low cost.
The article finds it will be important to monitor these programs and the role they serve at a time when the country is facing a possible recession, continued pressures on the economy, and a growing number of uninsured adults.
“Our research is a first look at what is happening at the local level where communities including counties, and cities are growing increasingly concerned about the health and health access of their citizens,” the authors note. “We will likely see much more innovation around LACPs as they provide access to needed medical care at a reasonable cost as the cost of formal health insurance coverage continues to increase without any sign of lessening.”
- Lynn A. Blewett, Jeanette Ziegenfuss, Michael E. Davern. Local Access to Care Programs (LACPs): New Developments in the Access to Care for the Uninsured. Milbank Quarterly, 2008; 86 (3): 459-479 [link]
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