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OAPIA Announces Partnership with DC Health Link to Promote Affordable Health Plan Coverage within the Asian American and Pacific Islander Community

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

CONTACT: Andrew Chang (EOM) 202.727.5560; [email protected]

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – The Mayor’s Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs (OAPIA) entered a memorandum of understanding with the DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority (HBX) to bring new affordable healthcare options to the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community by promoting DC Health Link. This is a part of OAPIA’s initiative to help improve the AAPI community’s accessibility to affordable health insurance.

According to US Census 2011, the American Community Survey 3-year report estimates that 7.1% of the District of Columbia’s population is uninsured. In the District’s AAPI population, the uninsured percentage is 8.3%.

Under this partnership, OAPIA will recruit bilingual staff members, fluent in Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese languages, and assist HBX with developing culturally appropriate and multilingual outreach materials for the AAPI community. OAPIA will spearhead extensive outreach efforts to the AAPI community via informational workshops, community meetings, events, and door-to-door outreach, as well as an ethnic media campaign to educate residents and business owners on their options and help the uninsured in signing up for insurance.

“Having access to affordable health insurance can go a long way in ensuring the health and well-being of District residents,” said Soohyun “Julie” Koo, Director of OAPIA. “We are happy to lead the outreach efforts to bring coverage to a wider range of Asian American and Pacific Islander residents and business owners, especially those with limited-English proficiency and cultural barriers."

"I'm grateful to the Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs for their vital assistance in reaching an important group of residents and business owners," said Mila Kofman, Executive Director of HBX.

DC Health Link, the District of Columbia’s new online health insurance marketplace, opened on October 1, 2013, offering new affordable health plan options for small businesses and residents in the District. Residents have until December 15, 2013 to register for coverage which will begin January 1, 2014. Residents have until March 31, 2014, to buy coverage through DCHealthLink.com. Small businesses with 50 or fewer full-time employees can purchase coverage for their workers at any time; those who buy coverage by December 12, 2013 will have coverage effective January 1, 2014.

For more information, please contact OAPIA at (202) 727-3120.