HEALTHY FAMILIES: Radio Ads to Encourage Enrollment
Despite widespread media campaigns by health advocates and Immigration and Naturalization Service officials, misconceptions about eligibility for Healthy Families continue to keep enrollment levels low, the Orange County Register reports. But health officials in Orange County are set to bring their message to a new venue -- radio. Noting that radio is "a mainstay within the Vietnamese and Hispanic communities," Linda Busa of the Coalition of Community Clinics hopes the media coverage can reach a wider audience. The ads are part of a $10,000 state and county campaign to clarify the INS' definition of "public charge." Under the program, children who are legal residents can enroll, regardless of their parents' citizenship status. However, officials indicate that many undocumented parents mistakenly believe that enrolling their children will lead to deportation. Radio station KWIZ 96.7 already is running a two-minute Spanish spot featuring Nancy Rimsha of the Health Consumer Action Center. Next Monday, the station will begin airing a 60-second public service announcement and a traffic-report spot. Similar ads on Vietnamese-language stations also are planned. Rimsha said, "The message has been difficult to get across to the community because of fear of the INS. The message has to be consistent from various places in order for people to understand it." Although 639,000 California kids are eligible for the program, only 300,000 have been enrolled statewide (Saar, 7/10).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.