AUSTIN, Texas, June 10, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Low-income mothers in Central Texas can now get disposable diapers free under a new test program announced in Austin by President Obama. The program is offered to families insured by Sendero Health Plans, a nonprofit Austin-based health insurance company.
The president, speaking at South by Southwest Interactive Festival in March, called the problem the "diaper divide," explaining that while most Americans today can save on diapers by buying them online, many low-income mothers cannot. The result is that they struggle to afford enough disposable diapers, which can cost nearly a thousand dollars a year per child, up to 14 percent of their entire incomes.
Of particular concern to Sendero Health Plans are the potential health issues related to not having enough clean diapers. Dr. Ted Held, MD, Director of Reproductive Health at People's Community Clinic said, "An infant uses about 240 diapers a month, and if parents cannot afford enough, they may tend to change them less often. That can lead to urinary tract and staph infections, sometimes requiring hospitalization. People's is proud to partner with Sendero to offer this program to the community."
According to the White House, some researchers also believe the lack of enough diapers is a leading cause of mental health problems among new mothers. "By providing the free diapers, our health plan hopes to help keep its members healthy," said Wes Durkalski, President and CEO of Sendero Health Plans. Durkalski added that "the diaper disparity program is just one of the many exciting health initiatives that Sendero Health Plans has created for the benefit of the community."
In order to qualify for the free diaper program, Sendero members must maintain participation in Sendero Health Plan's "A Tu Lado/By Your Side" healthy living initiative which features Community Health Workers who make home visits and coordinate appropriate utilization of healthcare services. The program is designed to support members' wellness by offering free services from pregnancy testing to prenatal and postpartum support and well-baby care. Qualifying Sendero members will have the free diapers shipped directly to their homes.
Sendero Health Plans will benefit from a partnership created by the White House with Cuties diapers and Jet.com. Only nonprofit organizations are allowed to apply for the program which offers diapers at discounted prices that can be distributed free or without making a profit. The pilot diaper program involves five nonprofit organizations in Central Texas, and Sendero is the only health plan to offer the free diapers.
More About Sendero Health Plans
Formed in 2011 to improve access to care for those covered by publicly-funded health insurance programs, the nonprofit health plan covers an eight-county area in Burnet, Bastrop, Travis, Fayette, Hays, Williamson, Lee and Caldwell counties. Sendero Health Plans is sponsored by the Travis County Healthcare District (d.b.a. Central Health). Visit www.senderohealth.com to learn more about Sendero Health Plans.
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SOURCE Sendero Health Plans