Increasing access to healthcare

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Family-owned business NoraCare launched its online healthcare platform Monday evening hoping to connect community members with more affordable healthcare services. With the cost of healthcare already rising before the pandemic started creating accessibility for those at an affordable cost with door-to-door service became a key factor for the platform.

“Approximately 25-30% of the population here in south bend does not have access to health insurance," said Ismael Zina, Co-founder and CEO of NoraCare.

Zina hopes to bridge the gap for affordable healthcare by keeping patients out of hospitals by bringing healthcare professionals to their homes.

“Going from the principle that everyone should be able to afford healthcare as a basic right it is an opportunity for those people who could not pay $500 or $1,000 a month to pay as they go," said Zina.

The new online platform allows users to search through services and request a visit from specialists who can be available for a home visit within one hour. The ease of access is something some health professionals say will better serve their patients in the long run.

“A lot of times we will talk to patients over the phone or clients over the phone and people can tell you what’s going on in their life, but if you come into their environment you can actually see what are some of the antecedents or some of the things causing the client to have challenges in their lifestyle," said Certified Life Coach, Desiree Dunomes.

South Bend resident Doug Dunten says the platform is a more practical alternative compared to others he’s used in the past as he continues to be a full-time care provider for his wife.

“I don’t need you know 3 hours from somebody I just need someone to help me for a bit. You know like that, but with their services, you have no choice. With this, you can pick and choose and I like this person at this rate," said Dunten.

Noracare can be accessed online and is currently only focused in the south bend area, but founders are hoping to expand to more communities in the future.

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