Free Bilingual Guide to California’s Health Insurance and Public Benefit Programs Now Available

The California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF), in collaboration with the California-Mexico Health Initiative (CMHI), today released a guide for health insurance and public benefit programs (Guía de Seguros de Salud y Programas de Beneficencia Pública), a special bilingual newspaper supplement available to anyone looking for resources for access to health insurance and public programs. The guide is being released throughout California as part of Binational Health Week (BHW), which is happening October 10-18, 2004.

During Binational Health Week 2004:

  • More than 160,000 people are expected to receive health services in 17 U.S. states;
  • More than 660 BHW events will take place in 180 cities and localities; and
  • Approximately 2,800 people are contributing to BHW activities through 670 agencies.

Binational Health Week was created in 2001 by CMHI to improve the health and well-being of migrant workers and their families. This weeklong series of events benefits underserved Latinos regardless of their national origin. This year, with the participation of the Institute for Mexicans Abroad and the U.S. Mexico Border Health Commission, BHW is being expanded from California to 16 other U.S. states and the District of Columbia. BHW seeks to contribute directly to strengthening the physical and mental health of this population.

“This new bilingual guide provides a variety of health program resources for people who may not understand the options available to them,” said Margaret Laws, director of Public Financing and Policy at the California HealthCare Foundation. “While the guide is useful to those in need of insurance, it is also designed to be a resource to help health care workers and community-based organizations in their outreach to the community.”

The guide is being distributed at BHW events and through a variety of partners in both California and Mexico. Included in the guide is information about binational programs from Mexico, local benefit programs, and children’s programs, along with telephone numbers and Internet resources.

Guía de Seguros de Salud y Programas de Beneficencia Pública will also be distributed via a network of 13 Spanish-language or bilingual newspapers in California. Program partners include the California Department of Health Services, The California Endowment, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores) of Mexico, Ministry of Health (Secretaría de Salud) in Mexico, and the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS). Also, a network of consulates, health organizations, community-based organizations, legal organizations, and newspapers are participating in dissemination.

Free copies of the supplement will be available for order and through a network of community-based organizations serving Spanish-speaking communities throughout California.

About the California-Mexico Health Initiative
The California-Mexico Health Initiative (CMHI) was created in January 2001 under the auspices of the California Policy Research Center of the University of California Office of the President. Now known as the Health Initiative of the Americas, it is a collaborative effort involving government, academia, private sectors, and community-based organizations of both countries. Visit for more information.

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About the California Health Care Foundation

The California Health Care Foundation is dedicated to advancing meaningful, measurable improvements in the way the health care delivery system provides care to the people of California, particularly those with low incomes and those whose needs are not well served by the status quo. We work to ensure that people have access to the care they need, when they need it, at a price they can afford.