Medi-Cal Language Access Campaign

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Language Access

A recent survey conducted by KRC shows that 70% of Korean American seniors living in Los Angeles county are Limited English Proficient. Most seniors are unable to understand well their medical benefits and unable to communicate with their social worker.

KRC and KRC's senior organizing group, Community Health Promoters, hosted a town hall on the issue of language access at the Immanuel Presbyterian Church on February 27th. Over 250 Korean American seniors and allies participated demanding that Medi-Cal notices be translated to the beneficiary's preferred language.

Campaign Documentary
Videos and Pictures
of the Town Hall


Community Health Promoters

Community Health Promoters (CHP) is a group of Korean American senior citizens dedicated to advocating on health and immigration related issues that directly impacted them, their peers and their community. Korean American seniors constantly fight against the fear of losing vital health benefits and services. CHP has identified key principles critical to ensuring that all Californians have access to linguistically appropriate and culturally competent services in public health programs.

Join us in our effort to make language access a priority. Support us as we work with government agencies to improve and expand access to health services for ALL Californians.

Medi-Cal Language Access Campaign Principles

Medi-Cal program in California must:

  1. Provide Medi-Cal Notices of Action in Korean or the client’s preferred language.
  2. Provide oral interpretation services when a case worker who speaks Korean, or the preferred language, is not available.
  3. Provide culturally competent, non-discriminatory services in DPSS offices.
  4. Provide a system in which Korean American community members and organizations can monitor written notices to ensure that all documents are easy to understand and culturally competent.

Community Health Promoters Meet on Immigrant Day 2007 and Discuss Language Rights

The struggles of limited English proficient seniors are all too familiar to the Korean American community. Over 17,076 people in Los Angeles county have stated that they would prefer to receive their Medi-Cal letters in Korean. Because of this high number, Korean has been identified as one of 7 threshold languages that must be provided service as mandated by the Civil Rights Act.

However, the needs of monolingual Korean American senior citizens are rarely met. Many seniors have been forced to go to community organizations like the Korean Resource Center, their adult day care center, senior apartment staff, friends and family members to understand the letters they receive from Medi-Cal because they are written in English.

All beneficiaries deserve the right to understand their public health benefits. Please sign this petition.

We the undersigned, ask our leaders, to make sure all Californians have the opportunity to fully understand our Medi-Cal benefits and achieve a healthy state by providing written and oral language services now.

Language Access Fact Sheet
Addressing the language needs of Limited English Proficient Medi-Cal beneficiaries.

Ethnicity and Language


  • 6,521,957 people receive Medi-Cal benefits
  • 22,837 people declared Korean as their preferred language


  • 2,264,596 people receive Medi-Cal benefits
  • 17,394 people declared Korean ethnicity
  • 17,076 people declared Korean as their preferred language
  • 80% of Korean beneficiaries declared that they would prefer to receive their Medi-Cal letters in Korean

In Los Angeles County Korean is a threshold language in LA County because it fulfills the requirement that over 3,000 Medi-Cal beneficiaries in that county speak and read that language.

Medi-Cal Language Access Campaign

How Can You Get Involved

  • Become a Community Health Promoter
  • Fill Out PA481 with the Korean Resource Center
  • Bring your Medi-Cal letter
  • Sign the Campaign Petition Letter
  • Learn and speak about your language rights
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