The Story of How Texas Medicaid Addresses Issues Like Homelessness to Keep Texans Healthy and Active in their Communities

When Gregory Keel went into cardiac arrest, he was sent to the hospital and eventually had open-heart surgery. After being released, Gregory could not afford to pay the medical costs from his surgery and became homeless. That’s when he met UnitedHealthcare Health Services Coordinator Sharmae Erickson.

Sharmae connected Gregory to the resources he needed to get his health in order—most importantly a place to live. Through the Texas Medicaid STAR+PLUS Home and Community-Based Services program, Sharmae was able to work with Gregory to find a new home for him in Community First! Village, a community that provides permanent, affordable housing to Texans coming out of chronic homelessness.

As health plans continue learning more about how to best keep people healthy, it has become increasingly apparent that a person’s health is influenced by circumstances other than direct health care. Stress, diet, transportation and housing are examples of factors that need to be properly managed so that people can stay healthy.

Medicaid managed care works every day to help Texans like Gregory address these circumstances so they can get healthy and live in their communities. Texas Medicaid provides high-quality health care and services that go beyond the walls of the doctor’s office, including coordinating transportation, finding housing and meals, helping navigate personal challenges, and more.  

In Gregory’s case, UnitedHealthcare and Sharmae not only connected him with permanent housing—they also paid for his long-needed dental work, provided the transportation he needed to make his appointments and coordinated all his health care so he has the best chance to thrive in his new community.

Today, Gregory credits Texas Medicaid, UnitedHealthcare and Sharmae with helping him get off the streets, receive much-needed dental work and more.

Learn how Texas Medicaid is using innovative solutions to provide Texans the personalized care and coordination they need to live the fullest life possible.

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Texas Medicaid Works is an education and advocacy effort highlighting the impact of Medicaid in Texas. We highlight the need for continued innovation in Medicaid and to ensure that Medicaid’s best solutions reach as many families as possible.

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