As the health care marketplace open enrollment window commenced yesterday, The California Endowment and Long Beach Building Healthy Communities in partnership with the City of Long Beach encouraged young adults and the uninsured to enroll in Medi-Cal and private insurance plans. Nearly 600 Long Beach residents attended Saturday’s WE Connect Health Care Enrollment and Resource Fair, where they accessed various resources including health coverage renewal and enrollment support, medical services, financial advising and a healthy grocery giveaway.
The WE Connect Health Care Enrollment and Resources Fair is part of The Endowment’s Asegúrate campaign, an outreach and enrollment effort aimed at engaging low-income Latinos and getting them enrolled into health coverage. Local and state partners joined forces at David Starr Jordan High School in Long Beach to empower families to lead healthier and more financially secure lives.
Community partners – including LA Care, Families in Good Health, and Long Beach Immigrant Rights Coalition – provided free access to resources that helped consumers identify and enroll in health insurance programs, including Medi-Cal, as well as additional programs like CalFresh, and free preventive medical screenings. This WE Connect event included an immigrant resources hub that provided information to young adults that are eligible to receive Medi-Cal coverage through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Long Beach Building Healthy Communities and the City of Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services targeted youth and additional vulnerable populations to encourage them to make health a priority, now that Open Enrollment has commenced. According to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey, 19-34 year olds make up 42 percent of the uninsured population.
“Many Long Beach young adults face challenges to leading healthy lives that are out of their control,” explains Long Beach Building Healthy Communities Program Manager, Jennifer Chheang. “By connecting our youth and our families with free or low-cost quality health coverage and financial resources, they can begin to overcome these barriers and set themselves on paths to success.”
Now that the state’s marketplace is officially open, Californians now can gain much needed coverage. From private plans to county-level coverage options and Medi-Cal, which continually enrolls applicants, Long Beach residents now have help accessing the tools to focus on their health and well being.
“We’re making Long Beach a better community by making sure that we’re healthy. Helping our neighbors use available resources gives them a helping hand when they need it” says Kelly Colopy, director of the City of Long Beach Health Department. “Making your health a priority before it becomes an emergency makes Long Beach a stronger city. Programs like Medi-Cal, DACA, and Covered California make it easier for residents to do so.”