New WE Connect Tool Helps Californians Navigate Health Care Reform and Other Programs
WE Connect in partnership with the Intuit Financial Freedom Foundation and La Opinion kickoff New Year with tools to help low-income Californians access health and financial programs
SACRAMENTO, Calif., Feb. 1, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In an effort to inform Californians about Obamacare, the affordable health care law, and connect them to enrollment opportunities and other important programs, WE Connect has re-launched its bilingual website and popular online screening tool, the WEb Connector. The WEb Connector now offers a more user-friendly experience to help low-income families quickly and easily determine eligibility for more than 10 critical programs that may help them lead healthier and more financially-secure lives. The sixth annual WE Connect bilingual supplement in partnership with La Opinion, the largest Spanish daily newspaper, will also be distributed across the state through ImpreMedia's newspapers and community based partners.
WE Connect, established in 2005 by First Lady Maria Shriver and run by The California Endowment, is a one-stop-shop for connecting families to programs that often go underutilized such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) which can help boost taxpayers' refunds by up to $5,891. With nearly one million Californians currently eligible but uninsured, the new screening tool serves as an important resource for families interested in learning if they may be eligible for health care programs such as Med-Cal.
"This is a critical year for Californians, as we near full implementation of Obamacare. WE Connect is an important resource to help people understand the law's new provisions and programs," said Daniel Zingale, Senior Vice President of The California Endowment. "We are thrilled to have distinguished partners like Intuit Financial Freedom Foundation and impreMedia help families connect to health and financial resources, because we know that health goes beyond the doctor's office, it also happens with financial independence."
WE Connect's premier online tools, the WEb Connector and Resource Map, are developed by founding WE Connect partner, Intuit Financial Freedom Foundation. The web tools are designed to be very easy to use – take four steps, answer a few questions and within a couple of minutes the online tool calculates which programs you may be eligible for. And it's completely confidential.
"Intuit is committed to improving people's financial lives and giving back in the communities where we live and work," said Susan Mason, director of the Intuit Financial Freedom Foundation. "We're delighted to help provide online tools like the WEb Connector and the Resource Map to help Californians become aware of the EITC and other money-saving programs."
New resources available through WE Connect:
- WEb Connector – In four easy steps users can determine eligibility for state and federal programs. The tool now screens for Medi-Cal.
- Resource Map – Enter a zip code to locate FREE resources in your neighborhood including tax preparation sites and events, job fairs, health clinics and health care enrollment fairs near you.
- WE Connect Supplement –The 2013 Bilingual WE Connect Supplement is the state's most comprehensive bilingual guide for families about public and private programs available throughout the state. 1.5 million copies will be distributed by La Opinion through a network of Spanish-language newspapers and more than 5000 partner organizations.
"We are thrilled to partner with The California Endowment's WE Connect program once again to help connect California's Spanish speaking community with the information they need to prepare for new opportunities under the new health law," said Monica Lozano, Chief Executive Officer at ImpreMedia. "The 1.2 million supplements will help families learn about important programs – from the Earned Income Tax Credit to Medi-Cal."
WE Connect will continue its statewide campaign to educate and enroll thousands of eligible California residents in affordable, quality health care by partnering with organizations across the state to host major health care enrollment and resources fairs. For more information about event dates and locations, go to www.weconnect.net.
About WE Connect
WE Connect, a program founded in 2005 by former First Lady of California Maria Shriver and now run by The California Endowment, empowers families in underserved communities to lead healthier and more financially secure lives by connecting them to resources such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, California's Healthy Families Program and CalFresh. This nationwide campaign connects those eligible with the information and tools they need to access these valuable resources. The program has successfully resulted in helping millions of Californians through its community events, web-based tools, public-private partnerships, and publications. Through a partnership with La Opinion, the nation's largest Spanish-speaking newspaper, WE Connect has developed four editions of a 24-page, full color, bilingual supplement that has been distributed to over 20 million Californians in need. For more information about the WE Connect program, please visit www.weconnect.net.
About The California Endowment
The California Endowment, a private, statewide health foundation, was established in 1996 to expand access to affordable, quality health care for underserved individuals and communities, and to promote fundamental improvements in the health status of all Californians. Headquartered in downtown Los Angeles, The Endowment has regional offices in San Francisco, Sacramento, Fresno and San Diego, with program staff working throughout the state. From 2010-2020, The Endowment will focus the majority of its resources on its 10-year strategic plan Building Healthy Communities. For more information, visit The Endowment's Web site at www.calendow.org.
About the Intuit Financial Freedom Foundation
The Intuit Financial Freedom Foundation directs programs that help to empower disadvantaged, lower-income individuals, small businesses, and the nonprofit organizations that serve them. By donating Intuit's tax preparation, financial management and accounting software and online services, the Foundation promotes financial literacy and independence, helping people and organizations master their finances and bridge the digital divide. For more information please visit www.IntuitEmpowers.com.
impreMedia is the leading Hispanic news and information company. impreMedia's multi-platform offerings range from online to video, social media, mobile, audio, newspapers and magazines, including the http://www.impre.com portal. 25.5% of U.S. Hispanic adults use an impreMedia network product. The network is also the nation's largest Hispanic newspaper publisher with newspapers in top U.S. Hispanic markets, reaching 15 markets total that represent 59% of the U.S. Hispanic population. Its leading publications include La Opinion in Los Angeles and El Diario La Prensa in New York. For more information, visit: http://www.impremedia.com.
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