Here you will find our High-Yield, easy-to-read guides about the fundamentals of Health Advocacy.  Click on the links below to skip to a certain section:

Section I: Basic Health Advocacy Education
Section II: Policy Corner
Section III: How to take Action



Section I: Basic Health Advocacy Education

Through engaging policy makers, influencing policy, building partnerships, and advocating through media, we can achieve our health advocacy goals of improving health care access, quality, research/data, and equity:

1. Expanding ACCESS to health care
-Uninsurance:  AAs and NHPIs are more likely to be uninsured than non-Hispanic whites:  Almost 1 in 3 Korean Americans, and 1 in 4 NHPIs, lack health insurance.  Public programs such as Medicaid and CHIP help reduce our uninsurance.
-Other barriers:  Even if they qualify for public programs, language and cultural barriers as well as misinformation about eligibility can prevent enrollment.

2. Improving the QUALITY of health care
-Different communities have unique needs, for example:
-Major components of quality include language access, cultural competency, diversity of workforce, and health information technology.

3. Increasing RESEARCH and improving DATA collection for AAs and NHPIs
-There’s often inadequate data to identify AA and NHPI health issues and their appropriate interventions and solutions.
-Data and Research back up health advocacy efforts to address health disparities and promote Health EQUITY.

4. Health EQUITY
-All individuals should have the same opportunities to attain optimal health.
-The Affordable Care Act’s main focus is to extend access to health insurance; we also need to focus on racial and ethnic minorities and sub-groups that face barriers such as immigration status, English level, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity etc.




Section II: Policy Corner

A. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

1. signed by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010.  It addresses many of the inefficiencies of the current health care system and ends some of the worst abuses of the health insurance industry.

2. Advantages of this Health Care Reform include:
-Lowers cost of health care
-Extends coverage to 32 million Americans
-Increases the number of health care providers
-Improves the quality of health care
-Holds health insurance companies accountable

3. Currently AAs and NHPIs make up 5.6% of the U.S. population.  1 in 6 AAs and 1 in 4 NHPIs are uninsured.  More are underinsured.  By the end of 2014, 32 million more Americans will have health insurance, many who will be AAs and NHPIs.

Part 2 – Impact of Health Care Reform on Health Coverage for AAs and NHPIs
1. Current Coverage among AAs and NHPIs
-Nearly 1 in 7 AAs and NHPIs are uninsured:
-Note that among AA and NHPI ethnic groups, there is a large variation in health coverage.  More than 2 in 5 Bangladeshis, Cambodians, Koreans, and Pakastanis are uninsured:
2. Medicaid Expansion
-Beginning 2014, Medicaid will expand to cover children and families with incomes at or below 133% of the Federal Poverty Level.
-1 in 10 AAs and more than 1 in 8 NHPIs are projected to gain Medicaid coverage.

3. Health Insurance Exchanges
-These will be a one-stop marketplace to purchase private health insurance coverage.
-All plans have a minimum set of health care services that must be covered known as the “Essential Benefits Package.”
-More than 1 in 10 AAs and 1 in 8 NHPI families are expected to receive subsidies to buy health insurance in the Exchange.

4. Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan
-Under health care reform, health insurance companies cannot deny health coverage to individuals with pre-existing conditions anymore.
-But until the Exchanges open in 2014, individuals with pre-existing conditions can apply for coverage under the “Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan.”
-This provides affordable, quality coverage for those AAs and NHPIs living with hepatitis B, stomach cancer, diabetes, or other chronic diseases.

5. Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Exchange
-For small businesses (less than 100 workers), more than 3/4 are uninsured.
-Starting 2014, businesses with up to 50-100 employees can buy health coverage through an affordable SHOP Exchange.
-Also, there will be tax credits to help small businesses pay for employee health coverage.
-The SHOP Exchange and small business tax credits will help over 1.5 million AA and NHPI-owned businesses.

6. Young Adult Coverage
-1 in 4 AA and 4 in 10 NHPI young adults, 19-26 years old, are uninsured.
-With health reform, parents can now keep their young adult children on their health plans until age 26 (instead of 19).
-2.5 million young adults, 97,000 who are AAs NHPIs, have received health coverage through this.

Source: Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (2012).  “The Impact of Health Care Reform On Health Coverage For Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders.”


Section III: How to Take Action

1. Educate yourself about our Health Advocacy Initiative.

2. Through our monthly National Newsletters, keep updated through our APAMSA Educational Bites and support our national campaigns/advocacy efforts.

3. Examples of effective health advocacy actions that you can lead with your own APAMSA chapter include using phone calls, facebook, twitter, or email to influence your Representatives and Senators.  More instructions can be found here:

4. For more information about specific, national health advocacy programs geared toward AAs and NHPIs, join the APIAHF Health Information Network:

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