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Expanding Medi-Cal Now Covers Long Term Illnesses and Qualifying Adults

By Manny Otiko / California Black Media

In 1998, San Pedro resident Alaina Howard was diagnosed with Takayasu’s arteritis, a disease that narrows and obstructs the arteries. Her doctors gave her two years to live. Faced with the difficulty of accepting her diagnosis, Howard also had to deal with frequent fainting spells, caused by the limited flow of blood to her brain.

Seventeen years later, Howard has beaten the odds and is still alive, but she had to go on disability.

Unable to work, Howard —  a Pennsylvania resident at the time — was forced to apply for public aid. During that process, she learned her status also qualified her for health insurance through Medicaid. In 2007, she moved from Pennsylvania to California and enrolled in Medi-Cal, the state’s health insurance program for low-income individuals or families.

Howard says Medi-Cal has been invaluable for maintaining her health, even though she faced a few challenges along the way —  like the long lines at her county human services agency. She says the wait was well worth it, though, when she is faced with huge medical bills from frequent hospital visits. Not being on the hook with collection agencies for bills she cannot afford for services she needs to control her chronic illness, is the best part of the coverage, says Howard. And even though she still has to pay some out-of-pocket medical expenses for her two children, she can’t imagine what her life would be like without her Medi-Cal coverage.

In addition to providing health care for people with chronic illnesses like Howard, Medi-Cal offers a variety of preventive health care programs, according to Adam Weintraub, a spokesman for the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS.)

The state’s government-funded health coverage program, which has historically focused on services to children and families, has now expanded to include single men and women without children and disabilities who qualify based on their annual income. To be eligible, an individual would have to earn less than $16,105 every year or $32,913 for a family of four.

“Medi-Cal provides Californians with access to affordable, high-quality health care, including medical, dental, mental health, substance use disorder treatment services, and long-term care,” Weintraub said. “Among the programs administered by DHCS are: California Children’s Services; Child Health and Disability Prevention program; the Genetically Handicapped Persons Program; the Newborn Hearing Screening Program; the Family Planning, Access, Care, and Treatment Program (PACT); Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE); Every Woman Counts; and Coordinated Care Management. DHCS also administers programs for underserved Californians, including farm workers and American Indian communities.”

California is also working to expand the number of people with access to health care through Covered California, a marketplace where individuals whose incomes exceed the threshold to qualify for Medi-Cal can access private health insurance, potentially with financial assistance. Covered California is part of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act commonly called “Obamacare”                                 and is a partner with the California Department of Health Care Services, together providing affordable, quality health coverage options to Californians.

On the Covered California website, Weintraub says, individuals can find out if they qualify for low-cost, private health insurance or Medi-Cal.

“New enrollment for 2015 coverage is strong and has brought in consumers our marketing and outreach targeted,” said Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee. “It is clear Latinos, African Americans and young adults not only heard, but acted on increased advertising and person-to-person outreach.”

People who are interested in applying for Medi-Cal can sign up year-round online or by mail. They can also enroll in person at their local human services agency. For more information about Medi-Cal enrollment, go to www.dhcs.ca.gov/services/medi-cal/pages/applyformedi-cal.aspx or call your local county human services agency. You can also visit Covered California’s website at www.coveredca.com or call 1-800-300-1506.

Hearts Of Champions…USA Women Soccer Team Claim Gold Cup!

By Johnni Matthews
The USA Women’s Soccer Team showed their opponent, Japan how “Hearts of Champions” play to claim victory!  What a way to avenge the loss to Japan in the previous World Cup held in 2011 by just romping over them in the first 16 minutes of play!  USA scored a record 4 goals in the fastest time ever recorded in a World Cup!
Our USA Women’s Soccer Team made history becoming the ONLY team to win three World Cup Championships!   Gold. Gold & Gold!  Another record set was the most goals scored in a game in FIFA Women’s World Cup history!
Congratulations to the USA Women’s Soccer Team!  As a NBA Hall of Fame Coach quoted, “Don’t ever underestimate the heart of a CHAMPION!”
USA won 5-2 over Japan to claim the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Continue to support women sports!
Photo Credit: Nick Koza
USA Soccer #1 USA Soccer #3 USA Soccer Action #1 USA Soccer Action #2 USA Soccer Coach sideline USA Soccer Fans USA Soccer Lloyd celebrating USA Soccer WIN - Lloyd WORLD CUP

“You Need to Know!”

Lou Coleman

Lou Coleman

By Lou Coleman

You need to know that God isn’t happy with how you are living. He declares that things will not be pretty until you acknowledge your guilt and seek [his] face [Hosea 5:15-16]. Our brothers, Amos, Isaiah, and Jeremiah tell us the same thing in so many words…“You think God is impressed with your worship? You think God is impressed with your prayers? You think God needs your sacrifices? You think that if you’re loud enough or earnest enough or put a little extra in the offering plate that God owes you attention? You’ve got it all twisted! God says, “Stop bringing him meaningless sacrifices! Your incense is detestable to him. New moons, Sabbaths and consecrations, he cannot bear your evil assemblies. Your New moon, festivals and appointed feasts, his soul hates. They have become a burden to him.” [Isaiah 1:13-14]. “You come near to him with your mouth and honor him with your lips, but your heart is far from him. Your worship of him is made up only of rules taught by men.” [Isaiah 29:13].  Paul says, Stop it right now! Start to change by renewing your mind with God’s truth. In the Old Testament God wanted His people to serve Him with ALL their heart, soul, mind and strength (Deut. 6:5).  I tell you, you must sacrifice your selfish desires and live for God every day. You must put to death the selfish tendencies that rise up and push your agendas, your plans and desires over God’s.

God desire is that we live a righteous life which is the best life we can live.  God told Israel to: Wash themselves and make themselves clean.  To put away their evil doings. To suit it up… To get the sin out of their lives, and today He is telling us the same truth. What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be!  I don’t know who you are trying to please with your life, but today you are being challenged to live lives which are pleasing to God.  You must come to yourself and realize that you are God’s own and created for His purposes. You must come to yourself and forsake the foolishness in your life, the vain pursuits, that carry you farther and farther away from God.

Now I don’t know whether you know or not, but more than 60 times the New Testament tells us that something either is or is not God’s will for His people. Four of those times are in Peter’s letter written to hurting believers. In verse 2 of chapter 4, Peter says, instead of living for “evil human desires” followers of Christ should live “for the will of God.” He tells us that we have spent enough time living as pagans, but now we need to live for God. Don’t desire sin as much as you desire God. Don’t desire sin’s lie as much as you desire God’s truth. As Romans verse 1 chapter 12 says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, and acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and the perfect, will of God.”

I want to encourage you to give yourself to God. Don’t let your mind get twisted to where you refuse to take godly instruction from God’s Word. I know what I’m talking about. You see when you live for the devil your mind gets warped to where you can’t think right. You begin to think God is expecting too much out of you, making too much of a demand upon your life. The Devil is a liar! Seek Him while He may be found. “Be transformed, not conformed to the world.” For God has called you to live a separate life, to be a peculiar people unto Him. Therefore, come out from amongst them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; so that God will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be His sons and daughters.

Learn from Jonah’s example. Jonah was a man who decided he wasn’t going to do what God had told him to do: He wasn’t going to go to Nineveh, where God had called him to go. So, he decided to take a ship for Tarshish rather than going to Nineveh as God said. Off he went, sailing in the wrong direction. He made life miserable, not only for himself but for everybody else that was on that ship. When you’re out of the will of God, nothing goes right. You can’t be blessed when you’re out of God’s will for your life. And you certainly won’t have a smooth running life when you’re doing your own thing, rather than obeying the Lord. While Jonah was out to sea, he thought he was running away from the Lord, but God blew up a storm while he was on that boat. The mariners didn’t know what to do. They expected the storm to break up the ship at any moment and destroy them all. Those mariners also knew that somebody on that ship wasn’t right with God. They were all praying to find out what was wrong. Jonah’s interest had disappeared, and his disobedience was causing such misery to those around him. I tell you, life can become one continuous storm when you’re out of the will of God, tossing you to and fro. The only way to stop the storm is to enter into God’s will for your life.

Consider the following scripture regarding choice. Deuteronomy 30:15 through Deuteronomy 30:20 (NKJV) “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess. But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them, I announce to you today that you shall surely perish; you shall not prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to go in and possess. I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”

I want you to know that not only did God admonish the people to choose life; He also gave them a good reason for doing so, namely life. God has given us His Word, which reveals His Way. Why not learn it and graft it into your heart and live your life accordingly? May what you’ve read have a practical effect in your daily life… You needed to know!