Latinos are perhaps waiting with bated breath to hear the announcement from Health Net of California regarding the state's first private insurance plans and what it has in store for those who wish to seek the assistance of doctors in Mexico or the United States.
The company has novel schemes on the anvil, whereby, medical benefits can be availed for as little as $75 a month, paid directly by individuals and families without the intervention of employers. The plans will be available for use in Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura counties, and are mainly focused at the estimated 2 million uninsured Latinos who live there , and who are either self-employed or offer their services to small time businessmen, who don't obviously offer any health insurance schemes.
Five years ago employers were approached by Health Net, with group insurance plans that would give permission to the workers to seek the assistance of doctors locally or in Mexico, where healthcare costs lesser and is therefore on the wish list of immigrants to the U.S.
Dr. Michael Rodriguez, a UCLA associate professor who is a family physician and an expert in immigrant and cross-border healthcare, said The good news is that the health plans are realizing there is a large need for such coverage. The disadvantage is that there are fewer safeguards for the care of individuals and less oversight when problems occur.
Mexi-Plan, one among five new cross-border Health Net plans, was initiated by a joint venture between Health Net and the Mexican Consulate General in Los Angeles. We are confident that this program will be a landmark in this market and will attract many, many customers, said Mexican Counsul General Ruben Beltran. We hope that many other private companies will follow suit and will cater to the needs of this underserved segment of the population.