Making Connections: A Day in the Life of the MPC Community Engagement Team
The Maryland Physicians Care (MPC) Community Engagement Team is dedicated to ensuring access to high-quality and affordable health insurance for all Marylanders and increasing understanding of how to get the most out of health insurance coverage.
The Team is led by Shannon Jones, Community Engagement Manager. It comprises nine committed team members whose service areas cover the entire State of Maryland. Their shared mission? To get out into the community, listen to people where they are, and provide them with valuable information that can make a big difference for their health and the health of their families.
A Day in the Life
A typical day in the life of a Community Engagement Team member starts early with a cup of coffee in hand as they begin connecting with community members, leaders, and organizations to learn more about healthcare needs in the areas they serve. Next, they attend events such as food distribution drives, mobile health clinics, conferences, and festivals. They connect with people from their communities and distribute information and useful giveaways such as hand sanitizer, masks, and reusable shopping bags. During the pandemic, such events have mainly been virtual, but as Maryland slowly starts to re-open, the Team is beginning to return to in-person events.
Providing relatable information about MPC’s health insurance and how it can serve the healthcare needs of Marylanders is a fundamental part of what the Community Engagement Team does every day. When engaging with community members, they start by explaining that MPC is a locally managed care organization (MCO). Founded in 1996, they have a 25-year history of service to the community, including the Hispanic community. MPC health insurance plans are part of the Maryland HealthChoice program, more commonly known as Medicaid. Medical coverage is free for those who qualify, with no deductible, no copays, and no financial liability for covered services using MPC network providers. They explain that MPC has an extensive network of providers covering primary care and all specialties and healthcare needs. The MPC Member Services Department also has friendly staff, available by calling 1-800-953-8854 to provide support and answer any questions callers may have.
The Community Engagement Team is always eager to go over the almost limitless options that MPC offers. Because they understand how impacted communities have been by the ongoing pandemic, they start by letting people know that COVID-19 testing and vaccines are covered. MPC medical coverage includes primary care and specialist visits, both in-person and virtual, urgent and emergency care, hospital care, immunizations for children and adults, over-the-counter and prescription medications, vision care for adults and children, dental care for adults, primary mental health and behavioral health services, imaging services such as X-rays and mammograms, case management for health conditions like asthma, diabetes, and high blood pressure, and so much more.
Of course, many people’s interest is piqued when they hear that MPC also provides virtual access to doctors through the MyVirtualMPC app, and pregnant women and new mothers and fathers have access to the Pacify app, which provides 24/7 support from lactation specialists and nurses. And for those who don’t have a cell phone, MPC provides a free SafeLink cell phone and phone service plan. And for those without transportation, assistance getting to and from doctor’s appointments is also available.
Finally, there is always the question of “So how can I apply for all of these benefits?!” The Team explains that those interested can apply for MPC health insurance coverage through the Maryland Health Connection, the State’s health insurance marketplace, online at MarylandHealthConnection.gov, or by phone at 1-855-642-8572. Through the Maryland Health Connection, applicants apply for HealthChoice (Medicaid) coverage, and upon approval, they are given the option to choose MPC.
Listening to the Community
One of the most notable aspects of the MPC Community Engagement Team’s work is listening to people––and really hearing them. They recently listened to an incredible story from a family whose son was born with a medical condition and were desperate to find health insurance that would cover the extensive treatment he required. The family found MPC and were able to get their son the help he needed. He is now a young man studying to be a doctor himself (check out the video From My Place: Zak’s Story to hear everything about this family’s journey). These experiences motivate the Team to get out into the community and make a difference in the lives of their fellow Marylanders.