Hoping to build a better life in the United States, Grace* and her three children came to San Diego as refugees from Congo in October 2015. After they arrived, Grace was unable to enroll her family in a Covered California health insurance plan because she communicates in French only. The County of San Diego referred her to Nile Sisters Development Initiative.
As a Certified Enrollment Entity, Nile Sisters has Certified Application Counselors (CACs) who provide free in-person assistance to populations who are eligible for Covered California and Medi-Cal insurance. The CACs and staff provide culturally proficient services to consumers in a variety of languages, including Amharic, Arabic, Burmese, Creole, French, Haitian, and Swahili. Funding from 2-1-1, Community Science, and the Cal Wellness Foundation has enabled Nile Sisters to develop linguistically appropriate materials for hard-to-reach populations, which has led to increased enrollment and health insurance utilization rates.
Marie Saint Louis, Nile Sisters Community Health Advocate and CAC, provided face-to-face French translation of Covered California information for Grace, allowing her to enroll in a health plan successfully. Grace was very thankful to Nile Sisters for “being very welcoming and making the process very simple, fast,” and linguistically appropriate. Since obtaining health insurance, Grace has become more knowledgeable of her benefits and says that now she “has peace of mind knowing that her children will be able to seek medical attention without incurring large out-of-pocket expenses.”
*Grace is a pseudonym to protect the client’s identity.
Marie Saint Louis, Community Health Advocate, helping a French-speaking client to complete a Covered California online application