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IU Health, churches team up for health resource fair in anticipation of COVID 'benefits cliff'

Resource fair
Posted at 5:50 PM, Oct 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-03 11:23:58-04

INDIANAPOLIS — IU Health and four community churches teamed up on Saturday for a community health resource fair at the Julia Carson Center.

"Sometimes the healthcare system can be overwhelming," said Broadway United Methodist Church senior pastor Aaron Hobbs. "People have not been given access fully to the resources that are available to them, and they might not know where to go. So health resource fairs like this are an attempt for us to put the people and the providers together in a way that can build relationship to improve everyone's health outcomes."

The fair is held on the precipice of a benefits cliff, when thousands of Hoosiers could lose Medicaid benefits gained during the pandemic. Relaxed requirements allowed half a million Hoosiers to sign up for Medicaid in 2020, but now they may need to provide additional documentation to keep those benefits.

"During the public health emergency, requirements like signing up every 6 months, demonstrating your income, a few of those kinds of requirements were suspended. When the public health crisis ends, those requirements will go back in place," Jay Foster, vice president of spiritual care at IU Health, said.

IU Health and Crossroads A.M.E., Broadway United Methodist, Allen Chapel A.M.E. and First-Baptist North Indy churches came together to make sure people have what they need - not just in the doctor's office, but in their communities, too.

"The power of connection is key. Churches connecting with each other. People connecting with each other. One of the biggest dangers of a pandemic like COVID is that people get isolated. When we become isolated, we become isolated from the people and the resources that are needed to maintain health over the long term," Jerry Davis, pastor at Crossroads A.M.E. Church, said.

The Indiana Family and Social Security Administration has compiled a webpage to walk you through checking on your benefits.