LOS ANGELES — As she checked in to Clinica Romero in Los Angeles, 67-year-old Rosalba said she’s excited because she’s registering to be covered under the Medi-Cal expansion.
She explained in Spanish that she’s been living and working in the U.S. for 32 years but had never been able to see a doctor regularly because she didn’t have medical insurance until now.
Starting May 1, Medi-Cal — which covers low-income individuals and families — has extended eligibility for full coverage to individuals 50 and older regardless of their immigration status.
Rosalba said she feels more comfortable getting medical help because she’ll be insured and is more trusting now of entering a medical facility.
Jocelyn Duarte is the executive director of the Salvadoran American leadership and educational fund known as SALEF. Their primary goal is to educate the immigrant community about resources available to them.
“At SALEF, our multi-prong approach to addressing the inequities that exist in our community includes a health care component. We work close together with our community partner Clínica Monseñor Romero to ensure that all community members have access to health care,” Duarte said.
That’s why they refer clients to Clinica Romero so clients can get help to sign up. Duarte said the pandemic really exposed the inequities in health care.
“In order for us to advocate for our community and begin to talk about anything for our community we have to make sure that they’re healthy and that they have equitable access to health care,” she said.
As for Rosalba, it gives her peace of mind knowing she can see a doctor regularly. She said she already has an appointment with her new primary care doctor on Thursday.