Ivan Valenzuela/COACHELLA UNINC
INDIO — The Coachella Valley is eclectic in its array of residents and lifestyles. An Eastern Coachella Valley resident can work his entire life in the fields, but chances are he will never enjoy the retirement havens of nearby Palm Springs. It is also unlikely that he and his family have health insurance.
Path to Health, a new public information campaign funded by The California Endowment (TCE) and Desert Healthcare District, is aiming to break down barriers and help residents enroll in the Covered California health insurance exchange.
“Sometimes there is a language barrier, and many times it’s the person behind the counter that’s trying to help you that produces those barriers,” says Efren Tenorio, who attended the Path to Health enrollment event January 23 at JFK Memorial Hospital.
Ynez Canela, Path to Health liaison for Desert Regional Medical Center and JFK Memorial Hospital, helped organize the event by reaching out to the community.
“There’s really no one place to go to target these folks,” says Canela, when asked about finding locations to find uninsured residents. “Part of it is where to go, but a lot of it is also always making sure you’re asking the questions. ‘Are you already insured? Do you know someone who’s not insured? Let’s get them here today.’ If you miss that part, you’re going to miss out on a large audience.”
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