Health Benefits Fair Linked Children with Health Insurance
By Hanif Houston
May 23, 2013 • 2,237 views
Last Saturday, Senator Ed Hernandez and Assembly member Ed Chau joined local public officials, healthcare organizations, and families from throughout El Monte for a health benefits fair. The fair, hosted by the Cleaver Family Wellness Clinic, was a health outreach event designed to provide families with information on free and affordable health insurance options, local health resources, and children’s health issues.
“Events like these are important because they let the community know about the healthcare options available to them,” said Lorena Sanchez, Health Programs Coordinator for the Children’s Defense Fund-California. “Publically funded healthcare programs like Medi-Cal and Healthy Families exist to provide families with free and affordable health coverage. But, due in part to a lack of awareness, many are not taking advantage of them.”
The fair was scheduled to begin at 10:00am. Senator Ed Hernandez, Assemblymember Ed Chau, and a representative from the office of Supervisor Gloria Molina spoke about the importance of children’s healthcare and presented certificates of appreciation to the Cleaver Wellness Clinic, the Children’s Defense Fund – California, and other organizations. Local healthcare clinics and businesses staffed tables that offered families information on free and low-cost health insurance programs, local medical, dental and vision resources, and energy savings programs. Children and parents alike were treated to an array of activities, including a bouncing castle, face-painting, and two separate raffles. Photos are available at Children’s Defense Fund-California’s Facebook fan page»
“It is encouraging to see so many health advocates partnering to make sure that families in El Monte have access to health coverage,” said Assemblymember Ed Chau. “Partnerships allow health service organizations to pool their resources to reach an ever larger population, and I was happy to see that occurring in my district.”
The fair was part of a nationwide effort made possible by the Children’s Health Insurance Program Re-authorization Act (CHIPRA) to enroll eligible children with free and low-cost health insurance. Research suggests that children who have access to health coverage perform better in school, visit the emergency room less, and survive their childhood at higher rates. However, California currently has over one million uninsured children, two-thirds of which are eligible to receive health coverage through federal and state funded health programs.
Since 2012, the Children’s Defense Fund-California, in partnership with the American Association of School Administrators, has been working with the El Monte Union High School District (EMUHSD) and the Mountain View School District (MVSD) in the City of El Monte to develop effective and efficient school-based health outreach strategies to boost the participation of eligible children in Medi-Cal and Healthy Families. Visit CDF-CA’s website for more information»