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Peter's Blog: Bus Tour, Day Eight

As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. You may have heard that sentiment in one of Covered California’s advertising campaigns. Or perhaps you read an academic study that supported the accuracy of the age-old proverb. Today I had the privilege of meeting the doctors and nurses who live by this saying at Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital, our first stop of the day on the Spotlight on Coverage Bus Tour.

The hospital has more than 2,000 patients with coverage through Covered California. Some of these patients are getting regular care to help prevent chronic ailments like hypertension. Others, like patient David Rivera, are having their conditions taken care of at an affordable price. David spoke of losing his health insurance and having to pay out of pocket for his diabetes medication, to the tune of $1,500 per month. With the premium assistance he receives for his Covered California health plan, he now pays only $274 each month for his coverage.

Making our way up the Central Coast to Watsonville, the bus stopped at the clinic Salud Para La Gente. The organization’s name means health for the people, and they certainly live up to that promise in their dedication to providing health care on a sliding scale and signing up many in health plans. Salud started in 1978 as a clinic to serve farm workers and their families. As a nod to this heritage and that of the surrounding agricultural region, they presented us with strawberries that were picked nearby that morning.

PHP Insurance in San Jose was the next stop. This agency has done great work to enroll the Vietnamese community. Like the other partners we are celebrating on the bus tour, PHP Insurance’s mission is to get people the best care possible, not just an insurance card. The Certified Insurance Agents here told us they make sure people get the right plan to save them money in the long run, because the cheapest plan is not always best depending on the client’s medical needs. PHP Insurance already has 300 appointments lined up this month for new enrollments. The agents sometimes stay in the office processing applications until 2 or 3:00 a.m.

Look for us as the Spotlight on Coverage Bus Tour continues today in the Bay Area:
  1. 9:30 a.m. -- Kaiser Permanente Oakland (3600 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94611).
  2. 11:00 a.m. -- ICAN (532 Valley Way, 2nd Floor, Milpitas, CA 95035).
  3. 1:00 p.m. -- KeenanDirect (99 The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94105).
  4. 2:45 p.m. -- East Oakland Youth Development Center (8200 International Blvd., Oakland, CA 94621).