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FA R M   L A B O R   I N F O R M AT I O N   B U L L E T I N

Voice of the Fields California

September 20, 2012


The Affordable Care Act and Community Health Centers


he healthcare reform, known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is on its way to being fully implemented. By 2014 all parts of the law will be in effect. As many as 23 million people will receive health insurance coverage under the ACA, and an additional 16 million people will have the opportunity to enroll in Medicaid. By 2014, the ACA will provide real relief to American families. An important part of the new law is called the individual mandate. This will require every United States’ citizen or resident to purchase health insurance. The idea behind this mandate is to have everyone participate in the health system. Immigrants who are living and working legally in the United States will be required to participate in the health insurance mandate. Undocumented people are exempted from this mandate. Here is a brief description of how the mandate works: If you have insurance- either through your employer or through a plan you purchased outside of workyou do not have to pay a penalty or worry about the mandate because you are already covered. If you do not

have health insurance now, starting in 2014, you will need to get it or face paying a tax penalty. If you fall into the uninsured group, there will be new ways to make it easier for you to find and pay for health coverage. Lowerincome and many middle-class families will be eligible for subsidies to help pay for insurance costs starting in 2014. The Affordable Care Act will help American families who are uninsured today by providing them with affordable options. Through tax credits given to families to buy insurance, and an expansion of Medicaid, new coverage options will be provided to families who could not afford health insurance before. The ACA will make the Medicaid program available to those families who are at or below the Federal poverty level (for a family of four, that’s $30,000 a year). Families

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who make more money than this will benefit from the new tax credits to help them afford healthcare coverage. The Affordable Care Act will improve the way doctors and hospitals provide care to their patients, because they will be able to provide preventative services, as well as more information about new drugs and treatments. In addition, the Affordable Care Act will promote transparency, accountability, and competition among health insurance companies by implementing new standards they must follow when setting their prices. There’s also an added safety net for all Americans, insured and uninsured. Starting in 2014, insurance companies will not be able to deny coverage for medical treatment, nor can they charge more to people with health problems. Because finding insurance can be

Continued on next page

The Affordable Care Act and Community Health Centers Continued from previous page

confusing and overwhelming, under the Affordable Care Act, States will be given Federal money for Consumer Assistance Programs. If you need help with a health insurance problem or have a question about coverage or benefits, you can contact the California Department of Managed Health Care. (888) 466-2219. The Affordable Care Act will be a blessing for many people who have gone too long without health coverage. But sadly, many people will still be left uninsured and unable to pay for medical care. Unfortunately, this includes many of the nation’s farmworkers. The ACA does provide $11 billion in funding to community health centers, and according to the National Association of Community Health Centers, this funding will allow migrant health centers to almost double the number of people they serve by 2015. Currently, fewer than 25% of farmworkers use migrant and community health centers for primary and preventative services. For those of you who will remain uninsured or underinsured, Migrant health centers will provide a safety net to keep you healthy. Because they do not require you to have insurance to receive services, farmworkers and their families will continue to have access to healthcare even after the provisions of the ACA are implemented. Providing quality care to more than 5 million Californians each year, these community clinics remove barriers

to care for farmworkers in a variety of ways: n 

Provide health care in the patients’ own language;


Provide treatment regardless of the patients’ ability to pay;


Located in areas near migrant and seasonal farmworkers, often times using mobile vans and;


Customize services and hours of operation to meet the patients’ needs.

These health centers are required to provide primary, preventative and emergency health services regardless of the patient’s ability to pay. Primary health services include diagnostic laboratory (blood tests, urine tests) and radiology services (X-rays). Preventive health services include pediatric care, prenatal and postpartum care, immunization, family planning, health education, and preventive dental care. If a health center is not equipped for after-hours care, emergency health services will sometimes be provided by an outside provider which has a relationship with the health centers. Health centers are also required to provide services such as transportation

for individuals who have difficulty accessing the center, translation services, and health education. Health centers may also provide supplemental services such as additional dental care, mental health services, or substance abuse treatment. Farmworkers are more likely to experience higher incidence of workrelated injuries, respiratory problems, musculoskeletal ailments, eye problems, hypertension, diabetes and pesticide-related illnesses. Community Health Clinics may be the answer. If you have any of these ailments, health centers for farmworkers can provide the treatment you will need. In addition to the general health center requirements, migrant health centers are required to provide other special services you may needs such as supportive services, environmental health services, accident prevention, and prevention and treatment of health conditions related to pesticide exposure. For a list of Migrant Health Centers in California, visit: http://www. MSFW/Migrant_Health_Centers_ California.pdf

Medicaid and Medi-Cal Medicaid began in 1965 as part of the Social Security Act. It is a health care program that is paid for by both the states and the federal government. Each state administers its own Medicaid program and determines the benefits it will provide. The federal government makes sure states provide certain mandatory benefits, and in addition to these, the state may offer other optional benefits. Federal law also requires states to cover certain groups of people in its Medicaid program including children, parents and pregnant women with low income, as well as older adults and people with disabilities with low income. States can choose to further their coverage to cover other groups. Medi-Cal is the name of the Medicaid program in California. MediCal is a program that assists low income families and individuals with medically necessary procedures, treatment and services. In order to qualify for MediCal you must: n  Live in California n  Be in the U.S. legally or be a citizen n  Meet the income requirements n  Meet the age requirements for particular Medi-Cal programs There are three ways to apply for Medi-Cal : n  Online ( n  In person (Call 1-800-541-5555 to find where the nearest County Social Services office is located) n  By mail (download a Medi-Cal

application at http://www. Documents/MC%20210%20Spa. pdf ) When you apply for Medi-Cal, you will be asked to present the proper documentation to determine your eligibility such as income verification, paycheck stubs and other resources. If you are not eligible for Medicaid/ Medi-Cal and have children, your children can still be covered. The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) was created in 1997 to provide health coverage to low-income children in working families who make too much money to be eligible for Medicaid but not enough to afford private insurance. Despite the program’s success in California, there are still many children that are not enrolled and remain without health coverage. In 2009 the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA) was implemented, it allows states to cover more children and help close the gaps in the original program. One of the most important components of CHIPRA was the elimination of the federal requirement that new immigrant children, otherwise eligible for the program, had to wait five years before enrolling in either Medicaid or CHIP. The removal of the bar means that eligible children can be enrolled regardless of how long they have been in the United States. California community clinics and health centers (CCHCs) have partnered

with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to enroll children into these federally-funded insurance programs. The community clinics and health centers offer outreach and enrollment assistance to families, but they also provide a variety of health care services including primary care check-ups, vaccinations and immunizations, dental care, and nutrition and health education. Your child may be eligible for coverage under these insurance programs and can be enrolled today! To find a community clinic or health center in your area to help you with enrollment call 1-888-895-0808 (toll free) or visit

Voice of the Fields California Circulation: 40,000 copies Published monthly by: La Cooperativa Campesina de California 1107 9th Street, Suite 420, Sacramento, CA 95814 Phone 916.388.2220 Fax 916.388.2425 Produced with the support of the Employment Development Department Voice of the Fields may be reproduced

Don’t forget to register to vote!


oting day across the country is November 6th! Make sure you register at least 15 days before the election date (October 22, 2012)! To register to vote in California, you must be: n  A United States citizen, n  A resident of California, n  18 years of age or older on Election Day You can pick up a voter registration form at your county elections office, any library, or U.S. Post Office. It is important that your voter registration form be filled out completely and be postmarked or hand-delivered to your county elections office at least 15 days before the election. Some of you may need to re-register to vote if: n  You move to a new permanent residence n  You change your name n  You change your political party choice For additional assistance with voter registration, please contact the Secretary of State’s office at: n  English toll-free number: (800) 345-8683 n  Spanish toll-free number: (800) 232-8682

Agricultural Jobs available to U.S. workers under H-2A contract You may apply for these jobs by phone or in person at your nearest Employment Development Department (EDD) field office Name of Employer

CalJOBS Number

Job Title

Pay Rate

Contract Dates


City of Job

Employer’s County (for ECMS)

EDD Workforce Services Site Office


Tanimura and Antle


Farm Worker, Lettuce






El Centro WS (760)863-2600


Sierra Cascade Nursery


Farm Worker, Straberries/Raspberries


9/25/12 11/9/12




Redding (530)225-2185


Sierra Cascade Nursery


Farm Worker, Straberries/Raspberries


9/19/12 11/2/12




Redding (530)225-2185


Western Range Association


Farm Worker, Sheepherder




California & Western States

California & Western States

Contact any EDD WSB Office

The H-2A temporary agricultural program allows agricultural employers who anticipate a shortage of domestic workers to bring nonimmigrant foreign workers to the U.S. to perform agricultural labor or services of a temporary or seasonal nature. The H-2A employers must demonstrate that qualified U.S. workers are not available for the job and the employment of temporary foreign workers will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers similarly employed. Preference in hiring will be given to qualified U.S. workers before employers are allowed to bring in foreign workers under the program.

Voice of the Fields - September 2012  

Farm Labor Information Bulletin

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