According to the San Mateo County Health Coverage Unit, 36,330 children have been enrolled in public health insurance programs since the Children’s Health Initiative was launched. Puente has partnered with Children Health Initiative since 2003 and Puente has had a permanent health advocate in house since 2006. Puente is a key resource for enrolling and retaining health public programs for South Coast residents who live in an isolated area whose primary economic income is agriculture.
To quote one of our participants, “En el pasado tenía que manejar 45 min a Redwood City para recibir estos servicios, ahora 15 min si voy a la oficina de Puente en La Honda” (In the past I had to drive 45 min to Redwood City to receive these services, now it takes me 15 min to get to Puente’s La Honda office.”
It is important for Puente to make services accessible on the South Coast instead of having participants travel over-the-hill. Providing health coverage services locally not only helps residents to be covered but also helps low-income residents not make unnecessary expenditures for the sake of health coverage services such as gas or taking time from work.
The following chart shows Puente’s effort with enrolling, retaining, and assisting South Coast residents with their health coverage services during the first six months of 2012 and 2013.