In 1994, a retail store on Canal Street in Chinatown opened with the purpose of promoting better health for Asian Americans. At the time, the storefront marked the beginning of the UnitedHealthcare Asian Initiatives team, which then boasted 1,000 members. Today, 25 years later, membership has grown tremendously to a total of 70,000 in the New York and New Jersey area alone.
During this growth, the Asian Initiatives team has been dedicated to the local community, working tirelessly to help improve access to health care and to provide innovative plans that meet people’s needs in different stages in life.
Over the years that initial storefront blossomed to 10 consumer support centers supporting Asian-American residents in New York (Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn and Bensonhurst), New Jersey (Edison and Bergen), Texas (Houston) and California (Los Angeles, Alhambra and Buena Park).
“We are honored to be a part of this community and to help many local residents get the health care support they need to live healthier lives,” said Chris Law, national vice president, UnitedHealthcare Asian Initiatives. “We look forward to another 25 years working with neighborhood leaders to keep our Asian-American communities vibrant and healthy.”
Recently, UnitedHealthcare executives joined community leaders and other honored guests for a 25th anniversary celebration to acknowledge long-time partners and members, including 77-year-old Po F. Tam, who has been a member since day one.
“I joined UnitedHealthcare in 1994 (it was Oxford Health Plan at that time), starting from Individual Plan and switched to AARP® MedicareComplete Essential® Plan when I became Medicare eligible,” Po said. “Throughout the years, I have moved to AARP® MedicareComplete® Mosaic Plan and now I am a member of UnitedHealthcare Dual Complete® plan. UnitedHealthcare provides many plan selections to meet my needs when I am going through different phases of my life.”
Ninety-six-year-old Yui Ng said the Asian Initiatives service team helped him review his medical bills, translate letters and renew his Medicaid status.
“I’ve referred my friends and family to join UnitedHealthcare,” Yui said.
Throughout its 25-year history, Asian Initiatives has collaborated with dozens of health professionals and organizations in New York City and New Jersey to address the unique health needs of Asian Americans. The team regularly hosts seminars on numerous topics, including selecting and using health benefits, general health and nutrition, elder law and financial planning.
“I’ve been enrolled with UnitedHealthcare for 25 years,” said 92-year-old Andres Chiu. “I’ve never considered switching to another plan because of the excellent member services the team has provided. I trust UnitedHealthcare, who wishes to build long-term relationships with members. I also attend the annual membership meeting, and receive help on reviewing plan benefits.”
As part of the 25th anniversary, a special edition Chinese/English bi-language general medical health handbook was introduced to the Chinese community and is now available for pick-up at retail offices in Manhattan Chinatown, Flushing, Brooklyn 8th Ave., Bensonhurst, Edison and Bergen.
For more information on Asian Initiatives, click here.