“There are always people who seek to take advantage of our community. It’s definitely something that we intend to tackle,” says Edgar Aguilar, program manager. He stresses that those seeking to enroll should know that they should never be charged any fee for assistance and that enrollment counselors are not allowed to ask for any financial information, such as credit card numbers or bank numbers,
Aguilar says that another challenge is educating mixed-status families. “A big fear is something called ‘public charge.’ Somebody can be deemed ‘public charge’ if they access public services and it affects them negatively in status adjustment. Word of mouth is powerful among the Latino community,” he says. “Our job is to clear this up and clear up misconceptions.”
In Kern County, California, the Community Health Initiative aims to educate Latinos on the new health care exchanges by partnering with various family resource centers where community members are already seeking help. The organization trains Certified Enrollment Counselors to help families through the application process by explaining their options and gathering required documentation. They also hope to address any confusion regarding the new law and prepare for any possible scams.
About Marcela Valladolid Marcela was born in San Diego and grew up in Tijuana, Mexico. Her grandfather was a chef in Mexico and her aunt opened one of Tijuana’s first cooking schools, where Marcela got her first job. She studied at the Los Angeles Culinary Institute and graduated with a degree in classic French pastry from the Ritz Escoffier cooking school in Paris. Marcela’s passion for cooking and her classical training won her a job as food editor at Bon Appetit magazine. She went on to participate in The Apprentice: Martha Stewart, coming in fourth place on the show. The Discovery Familia original production Relatos con sabor was the first series she filmed for television, but she has appeared on numerous shows on the Food Network and hosted its series Mexican Made Easy. Marcela is also the author of several books, including Fresh Mexico: 100 Simple Recipes for True Mexican Flavor and Mexican Made Easy.
“I am proud and happy to return to the Discovery Familia screen and to be part of this celebration with an initiative created especially for Hispanic audiences,” Valladolid commented. “I strongly believe that it’s possible to conserve our heritage while making more healthful choices. I share Discovery Familia’s mission to improve our community’s quality of life and make a commitment to a healthier future.”
It is estimated that about nine million Latinos will gain health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. So far, 6.1 million Latinos have already gained coverage for preventive services without out-of-pocket costs.