In July 2013 Farmworker Justice was selected as one of two national organizations to receive a “Connecting Kids to Coverage Outreach and Enrollment Grant” sponsored by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Conexiones: Connecting Rural Latino Families to Medicaid and CHIP will empower rural Latino communities, in states with booming agriculture but a high uninsured population, to better access available healthcare. Farmworker Justice is partnering with four community-based organizations: Alianza de Mujeres Activas in Florida, Campesinos Sin Fronteras in Arizona, and Centro Binacional para el Desarrollo de los Indígenas Oaxaqueños in California.
Together the Conexiones team will implement promotores de salud (community health worker) outreach programs to ensure that high-need communities in Arizona, California, and Florida fully understand the new Medicaid and CHIP application process and enrollment system, and consequently enroll for coverage and access needed health care services. It is expected that through the promotores’ outreach efforts an estimated 14,400 individuals will be informed on Medicaid and CHIP by the end of the two year grant.
Latino farmworker communities & health coverage: Eligible yet uninsured
- Rural Latinos have poor access to health care and lower rates of health insurance coverage than other populations; only 8% of rural Latinos are covered by employer sponsored coverage compared to the 64% national average.
- Rural Latino children have disproportionately higher rates of being uninsured as compared to other children. Thirty-one percent of rural Latino children are likely to be uninsured, as compared to 15% of African-American children and 18% of non-Hispanic white children.
- Rural Latino children whose parents are immigrants have a higher probability of being uninsured although these children qualify for coverage. Only 33% of first-generation children and 72 % of second- generation children are continuously insured.
- Two-thirds of the uninsured Latino population lives in 12 states – the top three states are Arizona, California, and Florida.
Training promotores de salud- Through intensive field research and consultation with national, regional, and local experts, our staff are developing a toolkit for promotores de salud to educate their communities about CHIP and Medicaid. Included in this toolkit is a curriculum which provides an overview of CHIP and Medicaid, eligibility requirements, changes being made to enrollment and renewal processes, misconceptions, overcoming barriers, and information regarding other state and federal programs for which community members may qualify.
Preparing community partner organizations- Farmworker Justice is providing capacity building assistance to the four community-based partner organizations. This assistance includes tailored trainings on conducting community needs assessments; recruiting, mentoring and managing a cadre of promotores de salud; process and outcome monitoring; and collecting and reporting findings.
Facilitating community dialogue on healthcare
Through the Conexiones project, we seeks promote and facilitate dialogue among community-based partner organizations, promotores de salud, and CHIP and Medicaid agencies at the State and Federal levels to address the difficulties rural Latinos face in obtaining health coverage and accessing care. These discussions aim to forge partnerships, identify barriers, and develop solutions to effectively reach high-need and often disenfranchised communities
Reaching out through mass media
In partnership with Hispanic Communications Network, Farmworker Justice will develop and assist its community-based partners in placing Spanish-language radio Public Service Announcements (PSAs). The PSAs will promote and market the local promotores de salud programs as a trustworthy and effective way to get information about CHIP and Medicaid.