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Covered California Finally Releases Spanish-Language Enrollment Form

Above: The state's online health insurance exchange Covered California.

Aired 1/3/14 on KPBS News.

Better late than never. Covered California has introduced finally a health coverage enrollment form in Spanish, two months after it opened for business.

Enrollment in Covered California has skyrocketed the last few months, except among people whose primary language is Spanish.

Spanish-speakers make up 29 percent of California’s population. But exchange officials said so far, that group makes up only 5 percent of those who’ve signed up for a plan.

Exchange spokeswoman Lizelda Lopez admitted they should have had a Spanish-language enrollment form out much sooner.

“But of course we did not want to put out an application that was not ready," she said. "So we needed to do some field testing, and we needed to make sure that we were having those conversations with the folks that would be using it, so it was actually usable.”

The new form can be used to apply for either a Covered California plan or Medi-Cal. It’s available on the Covered California website.

Exchange officials said enrollment assistance is available and added that about 60 percent of the nearly 3,000 certified enrollment counselors statewide speak Spanish. In addition, county eligibility workers who speak Spanish are also available to help.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | January 3, 2014 at 11:04 a.m. ― 3 years, 1 month ago

Discrimination. There is no other word to describe this.

Why is Covered California catering to one particular group?

What about those who speak Korean, Portuguese, Chinese, German, Tagalog, Japanese, Russian, Arabic, Polish, Vietnamese, Italian, Persian, Hindi, or French?
What about the multitude of Native American languages?

Are those people less important than Spanish speakers?

Are those people less deserving of insurance?

Apparently so.

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Avatar for user 'Alex_Grebenshchikov'

Alex_Grebenshchikov | January 3, 2014 at 2:50 p.m. ― 3 years, 1 month ago

Why is this needed in America where our national language is English? Shouldn't legal immigrants be expected to know some basic level of English, and be expected to assimilate if they wish to legally leave their country and come to ours?

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | January 3, 2014 at 3:37 p.m. ― 3 years, 1 month ago

I agree 100% Alex.

It would be absurd for us to move to Mexico and demand that government programs be translated into English online and paper. Not just that, but demand that offices filled with certified English-speaking counselors be set up just for us so that learning any Spanish is unnecessary. Because we're Americans and we demand it or we'll call you racist.


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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | January 3, 2014 at 4:11 p.m. ― 3 years, 1 month ago

One can always count on CA Offender and others to side with Nativism and the "English-only" crowd. Hate to break it to you, guys but the world is getting smaller and smaller.

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Avatar for user 'DeLaRick'

DeLaRick | January 3, 2014 at 4:29 p.m. ― 3 years, 1 month ago

Why don't they just friggin' rename this city Saint Doug already?!?! I'm soooo sick of all things Hispanic! Why did Europeans even come here to begin with?!?! Why isn't my life better!!!! Why am I not rich and irresistible?!?! Aaaarrrrgggh!

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | January 3, 2014 at 4:30 p.m. ― 3 years, 1 month ago


Yes, the world is becoming smaller but the language nearly everyone uses to communicate across all boundaries in all parts of the world is English.

Except in America.

Or California where English is constitutionally protected as the official language.

Article 3, Section 6:

(a) English is the common language of the people of the United States of America and the State of California. This section is intended to preserve, protect and strengthen the English language, and not to supersede any of the rights guaranteed to the people by this Constitution.

(b) English is the official language of the State of California.

(c) The Legislature shall enforce this section by appropriate legislation. The Legislature and officials of the State of California shall take all steps necessary to insure that the role of English as the common language of the State of California is preserved and enhanced. The Legislature shall make no law which diminishes or ignores the role of English as the common language of the State of California.

(d) Any person who is a resident of or doing business in the State of California shall have standing to sue the State of California to enforce this section.

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Avatar for user 'kikigubgub'

kikigubgub | May 2, 2014 at 7:06 a.m. ― 2 years, 9 months ago

Might be a bit late for this but better late than never - which is what I tell the boyfriend. Seeing the point made here. It would be nice if legal immigrants (and the illegal ones) came across knowing the language, maybe even interacting with the natives instead of creating mini countries in a street and whatnot, but the official language is only English because of those poxy English coming in and forcing the language on the natives. Just sayin'... Still, soon the Arabic will be the official language of England, so what the heck.

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