Kern residents enrolled for full health coverage at MediCal event

June 13, 2024 /

To bring Medi-Cal to more Kern residents several local organizations and health insurers came together to offer a free enrollment event. From 9 am to 2 pm, residents went to the Kern County Fair Grounds where they were greeted with friendly volunteers directing them where to go in Spanish and English. This event was indoors and included a resource fair.

At the start of this calendar year, a few major changes were made to who can be eligible for Medi-Cal. These changes included allowing undocumented individuals to apply, allowing 26-49-year-olds to apply for full coverage, and adding additional programs to help Medicare customers.

“If they’re an immigrant and they’re coming today from Mexico tomorrow they can go and apply for Medi-Cal,” stated Evelin Moreno, Building Healthy Communities Kern (BHCK) Public Health Outreach.

BHCK, Kern Family Health Care, Dignity Health, Clinica Sierra Vista, Department of Human Services, and other organizations planned a large-scale event to enroll more residents.

“I did have a young person, telling me he was in school- I mean he was in college – and that he didn’t have insurance anymore. So he came today because he knew from his mom that this event was going to happen, and he left with his Medi-Cal papers,” Moreno continued. “It made me happy because there were young people and even elderly people that were getting the help that they needed.”

Yuriria López, an organizer with Líderes Campesinas and volunteer leader who helped plan and work the event shared how important it was for her.

“Some people I asked some questions about how they feel at the event, and they say ‘I feel good, people took care of me,’ they feel great because many people are helpless and need more,” stated López.

López also mentioned that undocumented individuals pay taxes and contribute in a significant way to several labor industries. Farmworkers for example often provide vital labor but work in harsh conditions, and for López, government agencies who work to get healthcare and food assistance must be nice and accommodating towards them.