Enroll in Medicaid
For more information on enrolling in Medicaid, contact Patient Benefit Coordinators Kim Delorme or Tammie Morin at IHS at 701-477-6111 or Irene BearRunner at 710-477-7929.
For the past few years the Quentin N. Burdick Memorial Health Center has been actively working to get patients enrolled in health coverage like Healthy Steps and Medicaid. Still, there are many, including our elders, that are eligible for Medicaid and not enrolled.
Medicaid is health insurance for eligible low-income individuals, people with disabilities and those 65 and older.
One huge concern many elders have is the misinformation that if they sign up, Medicaid will take their home. “It is important for our community members, especially our elders, to know that we have special protections that are outlined in federal law and policy that state Medicaid cannot take our home if it is located on the reservation,” says Stephanie Jay, Tribal Health Outreach Coordinator.
Another misconception that contributes to lack of enrollment is that Indian Health Service is health insurance that will meet all their health needs. “A lot of people think that since they have IHS, they have enough,” says Tribal Health Director Blaine Malaterre. “While the services from Quentin Burdick doctors and nurses are great, they’re not able to provide all the services a person might need, for example, surgeries and cancer care.
Medicaid, on the other hand, is health coverage that can pay for all kinds of care an individual may need.”
Medicaid offers other benefits as well. For example, Medicaid can pay for Medicare Part B premiums. This is a great help for those with a limited income.
Medicaid also pays for services provided by Qualified Service Providers or QSPs. Qualified Service Providers offer in-home services that help older adults stay in their home rather than moving to a nursing home. “QSPs are great,” says Malaterre. “They can help with housekeeping, meal preparation, trips to the grocery store—the kind of services that allow our elders to stay independent in their own homes.”
Individuals on Medicaid may not realize this, but Medicaid reimburses Quentin N. Burdick Memorial Health Center for the care given to Medicaid covered individuals. This allows IHS to hire more staff and expand services to our people. Jay would like to see everyone enrolled in health coverage. “It’s good for individuals to have coverage, and the reimbursements actually help to further develop health care services in our community.”