Beyond the Headlines

By Linda Ryan, Executive Director

Amid the wall-to-wall election coverage of late, you may have missed the other headlines that reported that two major health insurers have decided to drop out of the public health exchanges.

Both United HealthCare and Aetna announced that they are vastly reducing their participation in the “Obamacare” exchanges. Aetna is ceasing its participation in exchanges in 11 of the 15 states where it currently operates and UnitedHealthcare, the nation’s largest insurer, will also exit most Obamacare exchanges in 2017, including Maryland’s.

This news, coupled with the inherent uncertainty of an election year, is creating a great sense of unease among many Americans, especially those who are under- or uninsured.­­­­­­

It also demonstrates, yet again, that Mission of Mercy continues to play a critical role in the communities we serve. For those who cannot afford health care exchange premiums deductibles or co-pays, or for any number of reasons find themselves without access to health insurance, our free medical and dental services can literally be life-sustaining. This is especially true for those with chronic health conditions that require multiple visits to health care providers and on-going medication management.

The author Margaret Drabble told us that “When nothing is sure, everything is possible.” It is a sentiment that rings particularly true at this moment in time. Regardless of what becomes of our public health exchanges or who it is who will lead our country for the next four years, thanks to your support Mission of Mercy will continue to be a safety net that provides for the sick and vulnerable members of our communities, ensuring that indeed, “everything is possible.”