Finding your medical home in Lincoln
When it comes to getting high-quality, consistent health care, finding a medical home is your first priority. A medical home is a having a doctor that you can call your own.
The doctor at your medical home recognizes you as their patient, and is your first stop for any health issue you have. Your medical home is where you go for wellness checkups, when you’re feeling sick, or when you need a referral to a specialist. By making your medical home the starting point for all your medical needs, your doctor gets to know you and your needs, so it’s easier to make sure you’re getting the best care possible.
HERE’S HOW TO FIND YOUR MEDICAL HOME IN LINCOLN
Step 1: Plan ahead.
If you’re in foster care and about to age out, work with your foster parent and case worker to make sure you have a primary care physician. If you’re PCP is a pediatrician, it’s time to transfer to a doctor for adults – usually a general practitioner, family physician or internal medicine doctor when you turn 18 or 19. If you’re already seeing a general practitioner, family physician or internal medicine doc, you can remain in that medical home as an adult.
Step 2: Make sure you’re insured.
Once you age out, you’ll have a few choices for getting health insurance. Remember, having health insurance is critical to paying for care when you needed, and getting the preventive care that keeps you healthy. Here are your options for getting insured:
- MEDICAID THROUGH BRIDGE TO INDEPENDENCE - This program offers, among other things, health insurance until age 21. To be eligible for medical insurance, you must meet all program requirements and qualify for Medicaid.
- MEDICAID THROUGH THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT - If you will age out of foster care at 19 and are not participating in the Bridge to Independence Program, you may be eligible to receive Medicaid until age 26, thanks to the Affordable Care Act. Complete this form to get started.
- ADOPTIVE PARENT INSURANCE - If you’re on your adoptive parent’s insurance, you can stay on this insurance until you turn 26. If you’re in a guardianship situation, it’s not yet clear whether you’ll be able to stay on your guardian’s insurance.
- BUYING INSURANCE - If you don’t qualify for Medicaid or coverage through Bridge to Independence, you’ll need to purchase insurance. Work with your case worker or foster parent. They can put you in touch with a Navigator to find the right level of insurance for your budget through the Affordable Care Act.
Step 3: Get help navigating the system There is no doubt about it: dealing with health insurance and the health care system in Lincoln can be complicated. In Lincoln, there are several places you can go for help to figure out your next steps to finding a medical home.
- The Community Action Partnership of Lancaster and Saunders Counties has Health Navigators available to help you secure health insurance
- The Health HUB at Center for People in Need can work with you to get access to local health care, including helping you find a medical home. Contact Anita King at 402-476-4357, ext. 196.
- The Lincoln/Lancaster County Health Department provides limited funds for “general assistance” for some health needs. Call 402-441-8000 to ask about applying for health care funds, or accessing dental care.
- The People’s Health Center has Certified Application Counselors to help you navigate the Health Insurance Marketplace to purchase the health insurance that’s right for you.
- ACCESSNebraska is the state’s hub for information on Medicaid and health care. You can apply for Medicaid and other benefits, as well as search for community health services.
- Nebraska Appleseed can provide assistance and forms for gettnig signed up for Medicaid or for further understanding the Affordable Care Act. Call the General Inquiries Line at 402-438-8853.
Step 4: Have a backup plan
If you’ve aged out of care and don’t yet have a medical home, but do need medical care, here’s what you can do in Lincoln:
- The People’s Health Center of Lincoln is a federally qualified health center that can act as your medical home. This means the each doctor works with a list of patients assigned to them, so you would be under the care of one doctor. The center also offers dental care, prenatal and women’s care, and behavioral health care. They do accept Medicaid and private insurance, but also offer affordable priced services for patients without insurance.
- Clinic with a Heart provides free health care on Tuesdays and Thursdays thanks to volunteer doctors and dentists. The faith-based clinic can help with medical, dental, vision, hearing, physical therapy, chiropractic, mental health and spiritual care.
- Health 360 is a program of the Lancaster County Medical Society. It offers assistance with medication expenses, access to primary care physicians and referrals to specialists, including mental health professional. You can access this program through the People’s Health Center or by calling 402-483-4800.
- The City of Lincoln Health Department offers low-cost dental services for residents of Lincoln and Lancaster County who meet income guidelines. Contact Gwendy Meginnis via email or at 402-441-8015 for more information. $25/minimum fee is requested. There are 8 contracted dentists on a sliding fee scale.
- Lutheran Family Services can provide information, referrals, case management, and more for those needing behavioral or mental health care. If a referral is necessary, LFS will work with you as you transition to your new caregiver.
- Planned Parenthood is your go-to resource for reproductive health issues. While a medical home is the best option, Planned Parenthood can provide gynecological exams, HIV/STD testing and treatment, birth control, and more. Call them at 877-811-7526.
- The Sexually Transmitted Infection/HIV Clinic offers 2 clinics a week related to sexually transmitted infection screening and follow-up, and 1 clinic a week for HIV testing and follow-up. Call 402-441-8065 for more information.
Need other resources?
Visit the Project Everlast Service Directory to search for services in your area.