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Media Legend Cristina Saralegui Helps Kick-Off the Second Year of The California Endowment’s Asegúrate Enrollment Campaign

(From left to right: Erin Stein, A Women’s Nation, Rick Zbur, Equality California, Cristina Saralegui, Maryl Celiz, La Opinion, Dave Pilon, Mental Health America of Los Angeles, and Laura Jiménez, California Latinas for Reproductive Justice)

In a Conversation With Community and State Health Advocates, Asegúrate Campaign Ambassador Applauds and Encourages Efforts to Engage Vulnerable Populations 

LOS ANGELES – Just days before the 2014-15 Open Enrollment window opens, Latina media legend and author, Cristina Saralegui discussed her ongoing commitment to empower Latinos to improve their health. California’s insurance marketplace – Covered California – is set to once again bring health care coverage to Californians around the state beginning November 15, while Medi-Cal enrollment is year-round.

Cristina has served as an ambassador to the Asegúrate campaign, a health coverage outreach and enrollment effort, to connect Latinos with new coverage options under the Affordable Care Act. Before the 2013-14 Open Enrollment window, the Latino community represented the population with the highest percentage of eligible yet uninsured. As an ambassador, she has helped raise awareness about the Affordable Care Act and activated California Latinos to get covered.

“It is important for The Endowment to have trusted messengers as part of the Asegúrate campaign. We were thrilled that Cristina continues to partner with us to lend her name, her voice and her time to this critical work of encouraging the Latino community to get enrolled,” said Martha Jimenez, Executive Vice President and Counsel of The California Endowment. “Last year, thanks to Cristina and our community partners, over 3.4 million Latinos enrolled in health coverage through Medi-Cal and Covered California. This year our goal is to encourage Latinos to renew their eligibility and to help us reach out and encourage the remaining uninsured to get covered.  Having Cristina and these four partner organizations spark this conversation tonight provided us with great opportunity to launch our efforts and remind Latinos to Asegurate today!”

Four community and statewide health advocacy champions joined Cristina for a dialogue of their unique campaigns and outreach efforts that engage some of the hardest-to-reach populations. A Woman’s Nation, Equality California, Mental Health America of Los Angeles and California Latinas for Reproductive Justice all provide resources, education, informational services and programs that help reach out to the most vulnerable populations around California.

These organizations address health and societal concerns in our communities and leverage unique strategies to incorporate some of the new benefits available under the health law that many still don’t know about and can greatly benefit from, including mental health services and preventive screenings.

“Our health should be our number one priority.  The best way to stay healthy is through prevention. Prevention is accomplished first through education. That is what the Asegúrate campaign is doing along with partner organizations,” said Cristina Saralegui. “It is so critical to reach families with the essential information that will allow them to get covered and access the health care they need.”

It’s an important time to spotlight the importance of enrollment and renewing coverage eligibility. While the state has made incredible progress in enrolling over 3 million Californians into Medi-Cal and Covered California there is still more work to be done.  There are up to one million people who are eligible but remain uninsured as well as millions of Californians who now must renew their eligibility in order to keep their coverage.

In addition to four community partners on a quest for change, Maryl Celiz, Content Marketing and Community Affairs Director for the West Region at impreMedia, joined the conversation as of one of our Asegúrate Spanish media partners. 

“Prior to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, nearly two-thirds of Californians were without health coverage and Latinos represented the highest rate of uninsured of any demographic in the state,” according to Maryl. “ ImpreMedia and La Opinion are proud to join forces with Cristina and wonderful organizations like the four on stage tonight to bring health care to the forefront of our community.” 

About Asegúrate
“Asegúrate”, is a multi-year bilingual outreach and enrollment campaign designed to educate Latino and lower-income Californians about Obamacare and to drive them to enroll in Medi-Cal or private insurance through Covered California, the state’s health benefits marketplace. The campaign’s target audience represents groups with the highest percentage of uninsured. The campaign includes a major Spanish-language media partnership among Univisión, Telemundo, and La Opinión-impreMedia, who are among the nation’s largest Spanish-language media outlets; The California Endowment, a private foundation advocating for health and health equity; Covered California. Together, the three media partners reach nearly 100 percent of the state’s Latino population—approximately 15 million Californians—using television and print reporting, public service announcements, documentaries, and digital media. To learn more, visit www.asegurate.com.

About The California Endowment
The California Endowment, a private, statewide health foundation, was established in 1996 to expand access to affordable, quality health care for underserved individuals and communities, and to promote fundamental improvements in the health status of all Californians. Headquartered in downtown Los Angeles, The Endowment has regional offices in Sacramento, Oakland, Fresno and San Diego, with program staff working throughout the state. The Endowment challenges the conventional wisdom that medical settings and individual choices are solely responsible for people's health. The Endowment believes that health happens in neighborhoods, schools, and with prevention. For more information, visit The Endowment’s Web site at www.calendow.org.