Key Takeaways

  • Several Benefits Enrollment Centers (BECs) have applied culturally competent approaches to benefits outreach to diverse and underserved populations.

  • These best practices reports offer insight in how to conduct benefits outreach and enrollment to Asian and Latinx seniors, rural residents, seniors experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity, and LGBTQ older adults. 

  • Our accompanying tip sheet summarizes some of the key engagement strategies used to reach diverse populations.

NCOA's network of Benefits Enrollment Centers (BECs) offer person-centered benefits outreach to enroll low-income Medicare beneficiaries into programs that can save them money on health, prescription, food, and other costs. BECs are supported through a grant from the U.S. Administration for Community Living (ACL) under NCOA's MIPPA Resource Center.

Some populations experience unique barriers to benefits enrollment due to geographic and social isolation, language barriers, and historic mistrust of and maltreatment by government authorities. With this in mind, NCOA funded a sub-section of BECs to specifically target some of these diverse and underserved groups with culturally sensitive benefits outreach approaches. Each grantee wrote a best practices report highlighting their approach to connect with these communities and assist them with accessing benefits:

  • CAPI USA, a Minneapolis-based community-based non-profit whose mission is to guide refugees and immigrants in their journey toward self-determination and social equality. Today, CAPI annually serves over 6,000 new refugees and immigrants from all over the world, including Minnesota’s Asian, East and West African, and Latinx communities as well as underserved US born communities, across three core service areas: Basic Needs, Economic Empowerment,and Civic Engagement. Read CAPI USA's report.
  • Family Eldercare, a central Texas-based nonprofit founded in 1982 by two women with a concern for supporting aging adults and adults with disabilities in Texas. Family Eldercare's mission is “to be the experts on the journey of aging by providing services tailored to the individual to promote independence and stability.” Read Family Eldercare's report.
  • Howard Brown Health, a federally qualified health center (FQHC) in Chicago, IL. Howard Brown’s services target lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people, patients who are uninsured, and people living with chronic disease; all of these populations experience delays in access to care or fall out of care at increased rates, particularly LGBTQ adults who often do not believe they will be treated with dignity or respect by the healthcare system. Read Howard Brown Health's report.
  • National Church Residences (NCR), founded in 1961 out of a commitment to serve older adults' housing, health, and human service needs and serves seniors of all faiths, race, and national origins. NCR is the largest not-for-profit owner and manager of affordablehousing for seniors and other at-risk populations in the nation with over 23,000 housing units and 340+ properties in 25 states. NCR believes that safe, decent, and affordable housing is an important platform for creating a system of care and a culture that improves the health, wellness, and self-sufficiency of low-income and vulnerable populations. Read NCR's report.
  • Northwest Side Housing Center, which identifies and responds to the needs of the community by leveraging resources to improve the economic well-being and quality of life in Belmont Cragin and the surrounding communities. Belmont Cragin is a northwest Chicago community home to over 82,000 residents, 80% of whom are Latinx (U.S. Census), and an estimated 12,000 of whom are undocumented. Read Northwest Side Housing's report.
  • Terry Reilly Health Services, a community health center founded in response to the needs of the seasonal farmworker population of Nampa, ID. Terry Reilly Health Services serves the population of several rural Idaho counties, operating medical, dental, and behavioral health clinics for everyone throughout the Treasure Valley. Read Terry Reilly's report.

Get tips to reach underserved populations in our tip sheet below.