A guest post by summer intern Liz Sielatycki
Ask Certified Application Counselors (CACs) Neissly Tapia and Ana Beltran what song comes to mind when they are enrolling H-2A migrant farmworkers in health care plans under the Affordable Care Act, and they may break out in song to “Despacito.” Aside from typical job duties like making phone calls, typing up reports, and listening to “Fuiste tu,” Tapia and Beltran play a crucial role in ensuring that eligible migrant farmworkers are covered by health insurance.
As CACs, Tapia and Beltran provide intentional outreach and education to farmworkers to encourage them to enroll in a health care plan while they work in the US. Typically this occurs through visits to camps where farmworkers stay. They utilize creative approaches like popular education to provide information in understandable and engaging ways. Once a farmworker decides to enroll, the CAC’s oversee each farmworker’s application process from start to finish to ensure that they fully understand what is going on. “We never leave them stranded throughout the process” shares Beltran.
Perhaps the most important aspect of what Tapia and Beltran do is to empower farmworkers to feel confident in navigating their own health care services and benefits. To provide them with that confidence, Tapia and Beltran teach farmworkers about the documents they need, what visits with providers will require of them, what their insurance cards mean, and how to prepare for cancelling their insurance once they leave the US.
So do they have to say about their work?
Beltran: “I really love this job. It fills me with energy and gives me strength to continue. I get satisfaction seeing the faces of the farmworkers when they learn about their coverage and benefits. They are always so kind and attentive.”
Neissly: “Yes, we can!”