July 3, 2003

Health Net of California is the First Health Plan in the Nation to Accept The Mexican Matricula Consular as a Form of ID

Health Net of California, one of the largest health plans in the state, is collaborating with the Mexican Consulate to accept its Matricula Consular as a form of identification. This cooperation will increase access to private health insurance among California’s Latino community. Health Net will begin accepting the Matricula Consular as a form of identification on June 25, 2003.

The Matricula Consular is an official identification card issued through representatives at Mexican Consulate offices in the United States. To obtain a Matricula card, an applicant must prove to be a Mexican national residing in the United States.

“Our goal is to support the Mexican community, which has had limited access to private health insurance in the past,” said Marta Lara, Consul General of Mexico in Los Angeles. “By accepting the Matricula Consular, Health Net is providing a much-needed service to a population that is twice as likely as others to be uninsured.”

In California, 6.8 million people do not have health insurance. Recent census studies indicate that Latinos make up for 34% of the state’s population with a large number of Latinos claiming Mexico as their ancestral home.

“The health care industry must keep pace with the unique needs and issues facing the growing Latino population in California,” said Ana Andrade, vice president of Latino Programs for Health Net of California. “At Health Net, we are expanding employer-based insurance options by offering culturally appropriate products and services.”

Matricula Consular card-holders will have access to Health Net’s individual and group health plans, including Salud con Health Net - a culturally and linguistically sensitive family of products and services, including cross-border coverage. Three years ago, Health Net launched Salud con Health Net, a program designed to provide access to affordable, quality care for Latinos and their families. The program offers innovative services, products, and outreach materials for the Latino community including a Spanish Web site (www.saludconhealthnet.com) and a phone line (1-800-331-1777) for members who wish to obtain information in Spanish. Health Net’s goal is to continue raising health awareness and insurance coverage among Latinos.

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