California Educator

September 2014

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Page 18 of 65

Know & Tell "ALL IN!" Union, school district partner to get health coverage for kids M O N T E B E L L O T E A C H E R S A S S O C I AT I O N President Lorraine Rich- ards says she's ALL IN when it comes to making sure students have affordable health care coverage. She's involved with The Children's Partnership ALL IN for Health Campaign, which has taught hun- dreds of thousands of uninsured individuals learn about their health care options and helped them get enrolled. Another open enrollment period starts this fall for Covered California and for Medi-Cal. MTA and the Montebello Unified School District made health care coverage a priority for families. They jointly sponsored an ALL IN event last spring. It was successful, Richards says, "because it allowed individuals from the community to get the necessary health coverage they needed." A nonprofit advocacy organization, The Children's Partnership works to ensure that all children have the resources and the opportunities they need to grow up healthy and lead productive lives. To connect to these programs, visit Families and individuals can enroll in health coverage through Covered California Special Enrollment or through Medi-Cal year-round. The next Covered California Open Enrollment period is November 15, 2014 – February 15, 2015. For details or to enroll call 800-300-1506 or go online at GO ONLINE Why it is so important for children, families, educators and staff at schools to have health coverage? Our priority is to provide the best services to the families of the district, whether it be instruction or wellness. Health coverage is essential for the betterment of one. We all are most productive when our health is in line. Do you have your own story about why health coverage is important? I learned very early in life that insurance was very important. I was 8 years old when my father had a massive heart attack. At the time, he was 52. He had triple bypass heart surgery, a pace- maker, and now a pacemaker with a defibrillator. I am very lucky to still have him around, and he's 86! I recall my mother being on the phone with the hospital, doctors and insurance discussing the coverage such as 80/20 deductibles, etc. I value the need for health insurance to receive the best coverage to remain healthy. What is the value to you and your school of being part of a statewide campaign to get schools involved? The campaign was more than a school event. The district provided the service to the community whether or not one was a student. We treat our district as an entity that affects the community and vice versa. In fact, we are in the process of organizing another event. What would you say to other teachers about joining ALL IN for Health? A healthy student is an excellent learner! And many of the families in the community need to be aware that they can get coverage at a reasonable rate. In Lorraine's words: Resources 17 V O L U M E 1 9 I S S U E 2

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