AUSTIN (KXAN) - If you live in Travis County, $65 million of your tax money goesto fund the CentralHealth District.
That district's creation came five years ago, intended to helpthe uninsured and underinsured - and designed to help people likeBarbara Shirley who lost her job and health insurance two yearsago.
"I really need to be monitored," said Shirley, a Central Healthuser. "I have heart problems, I'm a diabetic and I'masthmatic."
That's when she did some digging and found Central Health.
"I can get the care I need, and it's affordable," said Shirley."So there is no reason for anyone to go without health care."
When the Central Health District was created five years ago, thegoal was to provide the uninsured and underinsured preventativehealth care while streamlining the current system.
"Residents of the county and residents of the city had differentbenefit packages, and there were different systems serving them,"said Christie Garbe, communications and planning officer withCentral Health.
After five years, residents are taking advantage of the system.It grew by 80 percent last year alone.
In 2009, 14,000 Travis County residents used the service, butthat number jumped this year to 17,000.
"There are co-pays and these kinds of things, but they haveaccess to a network of services from primary care, specialty careand hospital care," said Garbe.
In order for the district to offer this range of services, itcontracts with public and private providers, such as People'sCommunity Clinic, CommUnityCare and the UniversityMedical Center Brackenridge.
"So that's been a challenge for us to find enough providers tosee all the patients that need care," said Garbe.
Those interested in getting health care through the CentralHealth District must apply and meet the income requirements.
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