Asian Americans Advancing Justice - LA

Building upon the legacy of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center

As Health Care Deadline Nears, Advancing Justice - LA Helps Launch National Effort To Ensure Asian Americans And Pacific Islanders Enroll

LOS ANGELES – From now through March 31, individuals have the opportunity to obtain affordable health coverage without penalty. Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles (Advancing Justice – LA), an official Covered California Outreach and Education grantee and Certified Enrollment Entity (CEE), has been leading the California effort to ensure Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islanders (AANHPIs) enroll for health coverage under Covered California, the state’s new health care marketplace created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare.

Of Advancing Justice – LA’s 39 funded outreach and education partners in California, 21 organizations are CEEs with dozens of bilingual Certified Enrollment Counselors (CECs). (All of these organizations are also members of the Health Justice Network (HJN), which is coordinated by Advancing Justice – LA.) Since the beginning of open enrollment on October 1, more than three million Californians have signed up for health coverage through Covered California or Medi-Cal. With regard to the AANHPI communities, more than 160,000 have enrolled into Covered California and over 303,000 into Medi-Cal between October 1 and February 28, many with assistance from HJN partners and other CEEs.

In addition to the California campaign, Advancing Justice – LA is helping to launch Action for Health Justice (AHJ), a national effort in 21 states to ensure AANHPIs enroll. The week of March 17 marks the “National AANHPI Enrollment Week of Action,” which will cover enrollment events across the country. Outreach, education, and enrollment efforts are well underway at local organizations, health fairs, religious institutions, naturalization ceremonies, tax clinics, and community events.

To ensure community members are provided with timely and accurate enrollment assistance, Advancing Justice – LA has partnered with local institutions like the Los Angeles Public Library’s Chinatown branch. Under this program, which is supported by the Los Angeles Public Library, Library Foundation of Los Angeles, The California Endowment, Weingart Foundation, and UniHealth Foundation, individuals can meet with Advancing Justice – LA’s Chinese-speaking educators and enrollment counselors at the Chinatown branch library four times a week to get free information and enrollment assistance about current health insurance options, including Medi-Cal and plans offered through Covered California. Advancing Justice - LA also assists individuals with applications for a variety of health plans and a bilingual eligibility worker from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services is present at the library branch three days a week.

“We have already reached tens of thousands of eligible AANHPIs in CA, where a third of our population lives, using culturally and linguistically appropriate outreach, education, and enrollment strategies,” said Stewart Kwoh, president and executive director of Advancing Justice – LA. “As we approach the end of this initial open enrollment period, we need to redouble our efforts to enroll as many community members as possible before March 31 so they will have health care coverage and avoid possible penalties. We hope to share important lessons and best practices with others seeking to fulfill the promise of the ACA and health care reform.”

“Our communities need to understand the many benefits of obtaining affordable, quality health care coverage for their families, such as guranteed coverage regardless of pre-existing conditions, fixes to the Medicare program, and no lifetime limits on medical services,” said Mike Eng, a member of the Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees. “By sharing the benefits of this law, HJN will provide our community members with peace of mind about their health care needs and literally save lives in communities with disproportionately high rates of cancer, heart disease, stroke and diabetes.”

“Health care and coverage issues are changing very quickly right now. From our many community outreach and education activities, we know that there is much confusion and misinformation in our communities about the ACA and Covered California,” explained Connie Lo, health program educator with Advancing Justice – LA. “Our goal is to help hard-to-reach communities throughout the state to understand, and to make informed decisions about, their health options by providing clear, culturally and linguistically appropriate education.”

There are three main ways a person can apply: 1) using a computer and applying online at; 2) calling the Covered California Service Center, which can help with the application, at (800) 300-1506, and/or 3) completing a paper application and mailing it in. Individuals can get help with the application in other languages by calling the Service Center or talking to CECs, a role that Advancing Justice – LA and its HJN CEE partners are playing. Although the online application is only available in English and Spanish, the paper application is provided in six Asian languages: Chinese, Hmong, Korean, Khmer, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.

In July 2013, Advancing Justice – LA and 21 of its key Health Justice Network (HJN) partners received a $1 million grant from Covered California to conduct outreach and education to AANHPIs statewide. The outreach and education grant program will continue through the end of December 2014 to reach the diverse AANHPI communities and to make sure they know about Covered California and how to enroll for health coverage.

HJN, one of the first grassroots program of its kind to address the health care needs of AANHPIs and other vulnerable populations, consists of a network of over 40 nonprofit organizations, health care providers, and small business groups throughout California. They serve the culturally and linguistically diverse AANHPI communities from Chinese, Filipino, Hmong, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, and other AAs to the different Pacific Islander communities and have expanded to include the low-income Latino and African American communities.

HJN members include: APAIT Health Center; API Equality-LA; Asian Law Alliance; Chinatown Service Center; Clinica Romero; Empowering Pacific Islander Communities; Esperanza Community Housing Corporation; Families in Good Health; Filipino American Service Group, Inc.; Filipino Migrant Center; Fresno Interdenominational Refugee Ministries; Guam Communications Network; Healthy House Merced; Hmong Women’s Heritage Association; Jovenes Inc.; Korean Churches for Community Development; Kingdom Causes Long Beach; Korean Resource Center; Legacy LA; Lao Family Community Empowerment; Long Beach Interfaith Community Organization; Maternal and Child Health Access; Merced Lao Family Community; National Asian Pacific American Families Against Substance Abuse; Orange County Asian Pacific Islander Community Alliance; Planned Parenthood of Los Angeles; Search to Involve Pilipino Americans; SCOPE; South Asian Network, Inc.; Southeast Asian Assistance Center; Thai Community Development Center; Thai Health and Information Services, Inc.; The Wall Las Memorias; Tongan Community Service Center; and United Cambodian Community. Other regional partners include: Asian Resources, Inc. (Sacramento); Asian Law Alliance, Inc. (San Jose); Korean Community Center of the East Bay, Inc. (San Francisco Bay Area); and Operation Samahan, Inc. and Union of Pan Asian Communities (San Diego).

For more information about Advancing Justice – LA’s Chinatown library workshops or enrollment assistance, individuals should contact Connie Lo at Advancing Justice – LA by calling 213-214-0284 or emailing [email protected].

Ki Kim, Communications Director: 213-241-0227; [email protected]
About Advancing Justice - LA: 
Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Los Angeles is the nation’s largest Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) legal and civil rights organization and serves more than 15,000 individuals and organizations every year. Founded in 1983 as the Asian Pacific American Legal Center, Advancing Justice - LA’s mission is to advocate for civil rights, provide legal services and education, and build coalitions to positively influence and impact Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and to create a more equitable and harmonious society. Through direct legal services, impact litigation, policy analysis and advocacy, leadership development and capacity building, Advancing Justice - LA seeks to serve the most vulnerable members of the AANHPI community while also building a strong AANHPI voice for civil rights and social justice.
Monday, March 17, 2014
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Advancing Justice - LA’s hotlines prioritize assistance to low-income persons in the following areas of law: family, immigration, consumer, public benefits, employment, housing, and civil rights.

English: 888.349.9695
需要協助嗎: 800.520.2356
हिंदी 855.971.2552


도움이 필요하십니까?: 800.867.3640
Tagalog: 855.300.2552
ต้องการความช่วยเหลือ: 800.914.9583
Cần sự giúp đỡ: 800.267.7395


Our mission is to advocate for civil rights, provide legal services and education, and build coalitions to positively influence and impact Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders and to create a more equitable and harmonious society.