Asian Health Services





Project Name: “Got Coverage?”

Project Overview: 

Through its “Got Coverage?” project, Asian Health Services (AHS) undertook to implement culturally, linguistically, and age-appropriate outreach, education, and enrollment assistance activities specifically tailored to target both uninsured and hard-to-reach Asian and Pacific Islander (API) immigrant and multi-lingual “young invincible” populations. To magnify the project impact, AHS partnered with several community groups including Asian Pacific American Student Success (APASS), Korean Community Center of the East Bay, Alameda Labor Council, Vietnamese Community Development Inc. & Koreana Plaza in Oakland, CA.

Goals of the project were to:

1: Increase knowledge among young adults of ACA health insurance options and to ensure their enrollment in coverage.

2: Increase access to culturally and linguistically appropriate information regarding, assistance and services for low-income, limited English-speaking, and uninsured Asian and Pacific Islander (API) community members.

3: Increase enrollment of low-income, limited English-speaking, and uninsured API community members in health insurance.

4: Leverage mobile technology as a means of penetrating hard-to-reach communities of color for outreach and enrollment activities.

5: Supplement outreach and enrollment efforts with workforce development strategies focused on increasing knowledge of the ACA and improving patient retention and communication skills.

6: Leverage peer networks of API community members to disseminate ACA health insurance information through the development of community member ACA Ambassadors.

Key Grant Activities:

Multiple innovative strategies and approaches were developed and implemented under the initiative; these included:

  1. Outreach to “Young Invincibles”: AHS established the “Young Adults” Patient Leadership Council (PLC) to train ACA ambassadors representative of the targeted “young invincibles” population. The PLC and AHS’ staff provided outreach and enrollment assistance for students at workshops and community health fairs at Laney College, Samuel Merritt College and various high schools; as well as at “Networking Mondays,” evening socials targeting young adults.
  2. Creation and Testing of New Technology Innovations: In collaboration with Blueray Solution, AHS developed a bi-lingual Chinese/English mobile application. The app offers information on types of available coverage, eligibility considerations and the enrollment process. The material was used extensively at the “Networking Mondays” events and community college fairs and well-received by the target “young invincibles” population.
  3. Investing in Workforce Development: AHS conducted training focused on improving staff knowledge of the ACA and the health insurance enrollment process. A series of patient retention trainings was developed in conjunction with the UC Berkeley School of Public Health’s California Pacific Public Health Training Center (CALPACT). AHS also provided a half-day training for staff using the curriculum from the Institute of Healthcare CARE (Connect, Appreciate, Respond, and Empower), emphasizing communication and customer service.
  4. Fostering Patient Leadership Capacity: A leadership development training curriculum was developed for community members, focused on training community-based “ACA Ambassadors” and fostering skills in outreach, communication and public speaking. The training was implemented across AHS’ six Patient Leadership Councils (PLC), and offered in Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese, Korean, Khmer (Cambodian), and Tagalog.
  5. Translation and Technical Assistance: To assist the community in navigating the enrollment process, multi-cultural, multi-lingual translations were developed for key materials, including flip charts and booklets for workshops and events. Post-application technical assistance was provided to help consumers make premium payments and select a primary physician. Assistance was provided to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) to help them with submitting required paper applications.

Project Outcomes

  • Provided outreach and enrollment assistance as well as technical and translation support to more than 4,000 individuals, conducted over 3,800 eligibility determinations and enrolled 3,600 in health coverage through Covered California’s health plan, Medicaid, or low-income health county programs; re-enrolled approximately 1,700 individuals.
  • Over 250 staff received ACA and patient retention training along with the CARE training to improve customer service. A total of 40 completed their training to become Certified Enrollment Assistors..
  • 15 Patient Leadership Council (PLC) mini-workshops were conducted to reach “young invincibles” and low-income, limited English-speaking, and uninsured community members including those best served in Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese and Korean.
  • Over 60 outreach and enrollment events were conducted, including the mini-workshops, PLC events, and community events, in collaboration with numerous organizations and businesses including nail salons and cosmetology schools, churches, temples, restaurants, supermarkets and community centers to reach diverse API populations. Outreach was conducted for the Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese, Burmese, Cambodian, and Laotian communities as well as to API senior citizens, union members, and undocumented community members.
  • Approximately 65 patients engaged in the PLCs were trained to become ACA ambassadors.

About the Grantee:

Asian Health Services (AHS) is a federally qualified health center that provides culturally and linguistically competent health care to low-income, uninsured, and underinsured patients, Asian and Pacific Islander (API) communities across Alameda County, California.  AHS provides over 104,500 medical and dental visits to over 24,000 patients annually.