At the North Carolina Council of Churches, we believe that access to health care for everyone is important. Our concern is especially great for those most vulnerable in our society: the poor, children, people of color, and the elderly. The Affordable Care Act has done a great deal to improve coverage for all North Carolinians by providing better access to care, increased use of preventive services, better management of chronic illness and, eventually, longer and healthier lives to thousands of citizens. One group, however, continues to suffer and lag behind in insurance rates. Latinos continue to have the highest uninsured rates among major U.S. racial or ethnic groups. One reason is that Latinos make up a disproportionate share of unauthorized immigrants who are ineligible for Medicaid or participation in state and federal marketplaces. Still, the vast majority of Latinos are U.S. born or legal immigrants who are entitled to the full benefits of the health reform law. In order to improve access to health care for our Latino brothers and sisters, the NC Council of Churches has taken the following actions:
- We have created bulletin inserts in Spanish and English that explain the Health Insurance Marketplace, eligibility requirements and how to access local, state and national resources for enrollment. We have printed 500 copies and would be happy to mail them to your congregation free of charge. Simply email Jennie Belle at email@example.com with the number and language preference.
- Are you not eligible for coverage though the federal marketplace? We have created a directory by county, linked under the January 2016 updates midway down this page, so you can find access to safety net resources.
- We are coordinating two events across the state where you can meet with bilingual in-person assisters. You can meet with an expert who will help you with enrollment free of charge at the following locations:
Central ACA Enrollment Event
Saturday, January 30, 10 a.m.- 2 p.m.
Shattalon Church of Christ/Iglesia Sin Fronteras
5490 Shattalon Drive, Winston-Salem
Eastern ACA Enrollment Event with Health Screenings
Sunday, January 31, 1:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m.
Unidos por Cristo/United in Christ United Methodist Church
7563 Pitt Street, Grimesland
We are also working on a calendar of ACA enrollment events for Latinos across the state to put on our website. Please submit events in your area to firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is only one week left to enroll — don’t be left out! Health insurance not only protects you physically and financially if you get sick or have an accident, but fines are also increasing this year if you do not have insurance. Jesus said, “as you did it not to one of the last of these, you did it not to me.” Christians are called to heal the sick, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the prisoner, and comfort the afflicted.