Category Archives: News

Contra Costa Health Care Town Hall

Health Care TownHall - Jan 28 2017.pub

Join the dialogue on how together, we will strive to Preserve Health Care for All

There is a statewide movement to resist efforts to dismantle our health care systems. Come and learn how we will be a part of this statewide movement to ensure that all residents have life-saving and quality health care.

Speakers include: Congressman Mark DeSaulnier, Congressman George Miller (Ret.)

When: January 28, 2017; 10:30am-12:00pm

Where: First Christian Church of Concord (3039 Willow Pass Rd, Concord CA 94519)

See the event flyer here

Dramatic Expansions in California’s County Health Care Safety-Net Detailed in Health Access Report

A new report from Health Access, “Profiles of Progress: California Counties Taking Steps to a More Inclusive and Smarter Safety-Net,” details dramatic changes to California’s health care safety net programs at the county level. While the Affordable Care Act has expanded coverage options, counties have been left to figure out how to provide care for the remaining uninsured, including undocumented individuals who are excluded from federal help. Counties have responded in various ways, from providing new benefits to those already covered to expanding coverage options to undocumented individuals.

CLICK HERE to view the full report.

 

California counties add health care for immigrant adults

Jane-UndocumentedCalifornia’s Contra Costa County, east of San Francisco, voted Tuesday to restore primary health care services to undocumented adults living in the county.

Contra Costa County joins 46 other California counties that have agreed to provide non-emergency care to immigrants who entered the country illegally.

“Providing health care coverage to all is not only about the human morality issue that we should address, but also from a cost-effective point of view … this is absolutely the right thing,” said Jane Garcia, CEO of La Clínica de la Raza, which serves 25,000 patients in Contra Costa, many of them low-income Latinos.

Adult immigrants who are undocumented are not able to participate state health exchanges under the Affordable Care Act, but can get emergency care in hospitals.

The program is not full scope insurance, but will provide preventive care. Health care providers and other supporters say that increasing access to preventive services will cut down visits to the emergency room and save the county money in the long run.

CLICK HERE to read the full story

Contra Costa County Expands Access to Healthcare for Undocumented Adults

September 22, 2015

CCCares[Martinez, CA] – The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors approved a plan today in a 4-1 vote to expand access to healthcare for residents regardless of immigration status. The decision comes six years after the Board voted to bar undocumented adults from participating in the County’s Basic Health Care Plan.

“Today was a huge victory in bridging the gap of health equity in Contra Costa County.  The Contra Costa CARES program demonstrates the commitment of our elected officials and healthcare leaders to work together for the benefit of everyone in this county,” said Alvaro Fuentes, Executive Director of the Community Clinic Consortium representing community health centers in Contra Costa County. “The vote today echoes the voices of thousands of individuals – locally and statewide – committed to improving the health of their communities by ensuring that everyone has access to quality and affordable health care.”

The approved plan will allocate $500,000 in County funding toward the program. Led by the Consortium, a diverse set of public and private health systems stakeholders developed the program to help meet the healthcare needs of those not covered by the Affordable Care Act. Several local partners who participated in the development of Contra Costa CARES are anticipated to match the County’s contribution. As a result, the program is expected to be implemented with a total of $1,000,000 to serve approximately 3,000 residents. Meanwhile, estimates from the UC Berkeley Labor Center show that in Contra Costa County the undocumented population may be closer to 19,000.

The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors’ decision comes on the heels of Monterey County’s expansion of healthcare access for undocumented residents. This year, 35 rural counties in California and Sacramento County also expanded access to healthcare for undocumented adults and expansion of Medi-Cal access to undocumented children in the state was approved in the Governor’s budget. Contra Costa represents the 47th county in the state to provide access to healthcare for its undocumented adult population. 

National Health Center Week Has Officially Begun!

NationalHealthCenterWeekPresident Barack Obama has officially Proclaimed August 9th- 15th National Health Center Week, 2015! Check out the official White House Proclamation and be sure to send us your state and local #NHCW15 Proclamations for us to share and post on the HCW website!

We are also pleased to share brand new Health Center data and NHCW infographics created by the NACHC research team. Check out these great new resources and take advantage of the custom Health Center infographic tool to customize a #NHCW15 infographic for your Health Center!

Help us spread the word about NHCW on social media: Use the hashtag #NHCW15 to let everyone know how you are celebrating this year! Help spread the word and make Health Center Week the biggest and best yet! Check out our #NHCW15 social media post guide for sample posts! Helpful tip: use social media to thank your elected officials for their support by tagging and communicating with them directly! Don’t be shy, ask elected officials to post about National Health Center Week on their social media pages using the hashtag #NHCW15.

After lots of planning and hard work, National Health Center Week 2015 (August 9-15) has finally arrived and it is time to celebrate! At thousands of events and in hundreds of ways across the country, Health Center staff, board members, patients, community leaders, and other Health Center advocates are celebrating the great work that Health Centers do in bringing high-quality, cost effective, and accessible care to millions of patients.

Best Wishes for a Wonderful Week of Celebrations – Happy National Health Center Week 2015!

CLICK HERE to watch the video “Health Centers: Paving the Road to Good Health

Two Deals Boosting Healthcare to Immigrants Illegally in U.S. are OK’d in Sacramento

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As Gov. Jerry Brown struck a budget deal Tuesday that would offer healthcare to children in the country illegally, Sacramento County supervisors — sitting less than a mile away — also agreed to provide medical care for county residents who lack papers.

The Sacramento Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a plan that includes $5.2 million to pay for primary care and some specialty care for undocumented adults. Officials estimate it will fund care for up to 3,000 of the county’s 50,000 immigrants.

CLICK HERE to read the full story

Covered CA: Preparing for the Next Open Enrollment Period

open_enrollmentAs people all across California prepare for the holiday season, this November marks an especially important time for all Californians. That’s because Nov. 15 is the beginning of the second open enrollment period for Covered CA.

Covered CA, which was put in place as a result of the Affordable Care Act, is California’s own health insurance marketplace. Through Covered CA, California residents can choose from among several quality health insurance plans offered in their region. Those with qualifying incomes can also receive financial assistance when purchasing health plans through Covered CA to help them pay the cost of their monthly premium. Some consumers will also qualify for plans with reduced out-of-pocket costs, including lower co-pays, co-insurance, and deductibles.

As a result of the Affordable Care Act, all plans offered through Covered CA, as well as all health insurance plans offered through the individual and small group markets, also provide coverage for the following 10 essential health benefits:

CLICK HERE to read the full story.

Time for preteens to get HPV Vaccine

HPV_vaccineFall is here and school is now in session. Now is a time when parents often check to make sure their children have received all of their required vaccinations.

Though the Human Papillomavirus vaccine, which protects against cervical cancer, is not required to attend school, it is strongly recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There are vaccines available to protect both males and females against some of the most common types of HPV.

CLICK HERE to read the full story.

Health Centers: Local Engines for Healthier Communities

CHCnew-1024x769Health centers are nonprofit, community-based providers dedicated to serving their community no matter who you are, where you come from or your ability to pay.

They provide comprehensive, high-quality, affordable primary and preventative care. But health centers do more than just provide health care. They’re transforming communities by going above and beyond traditional providers. They set themselves apart by providing a wide range of services to improve the overall health of their patients and communities including patient education, fitness programs, nutrition classes and even enrollment into health insurance programs to help their patients pay for care.

CLICK HERE to read the full story

Locals Reach for Health Care, While Advocates Try to Catch the Uninsured

Richmond Pulse News Report + Photos, Marco Villalobos

See original article at the Richmond Pulse

Beneath a mural depicting salvation outside St. Mark’s Church, Ruben Pedroza stood trying to figure out his family’s health insurance. Inside the church hall, a meeting was underway to educate residents as to what health coverage they might qualify for due to the Affordable Care Act.

Ruben Pedroza speaks with a representative of Contra Costa Interfaith Supporting Community Organization (CCISCO), one of the organizations partnering to host the town hall.

Ruben Pedroza speaks with a representative of Contra Costa ACCE (Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment), one of the organizations partnering to host the town hall.

Although nearly 3.5 million California residents have enrolled in either Covered California (the state’s marketplace) or Medi-Cal since last fall, over 5.8 million Californians remain without coverage. Mr. Pedroza counts his five sons among the uninsured.

In fact, Pedroza says, he’s been the only member of his family with health coverage for years, a situation he is now trying to remedy.

At the heart of the meeting at the church, hosted by Healthy Richmond’s Access to Quality Healthcare Action Team, was a push to inform locals of what health coverage options are available to them and how to access health care, with or without insurance.

“Moving forward, we must acknowledge that there are thousands of individuals in Contra Costa County that will remain uninsured. This event is the first in a series of community-driven efforts that we will organize to elevate the importance of ensuring that everyone has access to comprehensive health care and a quality medical home,” said Alvaro Fuentes, the executive director of the Community Clinic Consortium of Contra Costa and Solano Counties.

In the church hall, panelists discussed details around coverage options and care, specifically for Latinos, who comprise one of the state’s largest workforces. One of the keys to improved and wider coverage, said Dr. Xavier Morales, the executive director of the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California, is the Health for All Act. Also known as State Sen. Ricardo Lara’s SB 1005, the bill proposes to expand health coverage to all Californians, regardless of immigration status.

Ruben Pedroza, pictured here with his son, seeks to secure health care for his family of seven.

Ruben Pedroza, pictured here with his son, seeks to secure health care for his family of seven.

“I feel like whether you are documented or undocumented it should work for everybody,” said Pedroza.

But the act, as pivotal as it could be in ensuring that all residents have access to quality and affordable care, would do little to address the current statewide backlog of 900,000 coverage applicants.

“We’re here tonight because we’ve been having problems with the Covered California plan,” said Pedroza, as his four-year-old son wriggles loose from his arms. “We registered with them a couple of months back and they accepted me and my wife with Kaiser. We tried to enroll our kids with Kaiser and they sent us a letter saying that the kids weren’t qualified, that they would have to qualify through Medi-Cal.”

That letter was the beginning of a struggle that still leaves the Pedrozas between plans in search of a resolution that will provide coverage for their sons.

“We went ahead and applied for Medi-Cal, and Medi-Cal sent us a letter saying that we didn’t qualify for Medi-Cal, that we should enroll in the Covered California plan,” said Pedroza. “So they’re just throwing us back and forth and that’s the reason why we’re here. We’re trying to get answers and find out which way to go with this.”

Richmond locals sign in at a welcoming desk before a Healthy Richmond town hall meeting at St. Marks Church.

Richmond locals sign in at a welcoming desk before a Healthy Richmond town hall meeting at St. Marks Church.

As he sat down with a group of attendees, he motioned for a headset. His wife, recently granted residency in the state, wanted to listen in on panelists via the live translation taking place.

Regardless of the status of one’s application, assured Dr. William Walker, director and health officer of Contra Costa Health Services, “If you signed up and need care, you can be covered retroactively.”

Given his difficulty in securing coverage, Pedroza doubts the reliability of more universal access to coverage. “They’re trying to get everybody into the health plan but it’s not working, you know? [My] kids are stuck in the middle,” he says. He headed off in search of some reassurance that this time he was getting closer to health care for his sons.

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