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Elisa Batista's picture

Thanks to health care reform, private health insurance companies can no longer deny coverage to children due to a pre-existing condition like asthma, diabetes, cancer or other previous or ongoing illnesses. In California, these children are assured lower rates if their parents apply for private coverage during an “open enrollment” period that ends on March 1.

That’s good news for uninsured children in our state, many of who are of Latino descent. According to research by the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California, one in three Latino children in California – more than any other group of children -- went without health insurance in 2007. This open enrollment period offers these kids more options for coverage at a lower rate – even if they are sick and have been previously denied coverage.

This is welcome relief to the moms who shared with us their stories of seeking health coverage for their children, even if they themselves are uninsured.

“For kids with no health care coverage, I highly recommend the program ‘Healthy Families’.  Also, thanks to health care reform, even children whose parents make too much to qualify for Healthy Families can get coverage through private insurance companies even if they were previously denied due to a pre-existing condition like diabetes. And some counties provide health services to children regardless of immigration status….With so many options, there is no reason for children in California not to have health insurance. Enroll today!” said Guillermina Ruiz, a mom of two in Richmond, California.

Said Alicia Contreras, an Oakland mom of three: “But I don’t think that attaining health care for our children should be difficult. That’s why I support health care reform, which will prohibit companies from discriminating against sick children and includes additional monies to fund more kids in our state. There is so much in this legislation to benefit the health of all of our children who do not deserve to go without medical attention.”

For Oakland mother of one, Chantal Reynolds, health care coverage was critical for her son who had a number of pre-existing respiratory illnesses as a baby and had to see a pulmonary specialist. “He now is free of all respiratory ailments thanks to the health care we received. All children should have this option!” she said.

To find out about available private and public health insurance options, see

It is time to tell our Latino brothers and sisters about the open enrollment period. Make sure that no one misses out on the lower rates available for private insurance during the open enrollment period that ends on March 1. Share this blogpost using the "Share the Knowledge" buttons below! ¡Gracias!

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