Keenan Joins with Asian Pacific Americans in Higher Education at National Conference for Lively Roundtable Discussion on Community Engagement and Healthcare Coverage

TORRANCE, Calif. – April 19, 2016 – Keenan, the largest privately held insurance brokerage and consulting firm in California, joined with Asian Pacific Americans in Higher Education (APAHE) to present a roundtable discussion at the organization’s national conference on Apr. 7, 2016, in Oakland, Calif., on the topic of “Asserting Our Voices: Using Community Associations to Reach and Engage Asian Pacific Americans in Covered California.”

With the advent of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Covered California, the state has seen an estimated 40 percent reduction in its uninsured population. However, more than 10 percent of the Asian Pacific American community remains uninsured. And uninsured individuals are less likely than those with insurance to receive preventive care and treatment for major health conditions and chronic diseases.

The APAHE/Keenan roundtable was designed to help attendees:

  • Comprehend how insurance impacts access to health care for the Asian Pacific American population
  • Identify how partnering with local community organizations is effective in promoting public health and public policy initiatives
  • Identify major health indicators in California’s Asian population and their access to regular health care compared to non-Asian populations

Takeaways from the panel focused on significant challenges being faced now that the ACA has opened up health care to many consumers who had never had insurance previously. Those challenges range from selecting coverage that best fits the individual to changing the way these consumers access care. With coverage, patients are able to shift from emergency rooms to a primary care physician and utilize preventive care instead of only going to the doctor when seriously ill or injured. In addition, the situation is often magnified by different preferences of ethnic groups, and the health care delivery system must adapt to those differences to achieve optimal health outcomes. As a result, the engagement strategies implemented by insurers and the state through community organizations are designed to enhance awareness and communication with individuals as well as address their questions and concerns.

The discussion was moderated by Sam Cole, Vice President, KeenanDirect, with panelists:

  • Pat Fong-Kushida, President and CEO, CalAsian Chamber of Commerce
  • Dana Howard, Deputy Director of Communications, Covered California
  • Cynthia Lee, Vice President of Strategy and Business Development, Sutter Health Bay Area
  • Dennis Lum, Vice President of Channel Strategy, Sales Operations & Performance, Kaiser Permanente

According to Covered California’s Dana Howard, “With California having the fastest growing and largest Asian Pacific American population in the country, we continue our high priority commitment to reach California’s Asian Pacific American consumers through community organizations, local enrollers and language-specific outreach to ensure consumers are aware of their coverage options and the financial assistance available to help them pay their monthly health insurance premiums.”

To help address these issues, Keenan has partnered with the CalAsian Chamber of Commerce to provide easily accessible insurance consultation and enrollment services through its KeenanDirect program for individuals, families and small businesses.

“In California, we have such diverse and rapidly growing ethnic communities,” says Pat Fong-Kushida, President, Cal/Asian Chamber of Commerce, representing over 600,000 small businesses in the state. “Engagement between health plans, providers and the community must take account of cultural factors.”

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About Keenan
Founded in 1972, Keenan is a top-25 largest insurance consulting and brokerage firm in the U.S. and the largest independent broker in California. Keenan is dedicated to providing superior insurance products and services to schools, community colleges, healthcare organizations and municipalities for employee benefits, health benefit management services, workers’ compensation, risk management, and property and liability. With headquarters in Torrance, CA, Keenan has a staff of more than 700 insurance specialists and branch offices in Riverside, San Clemente, Oakland, San Jose, Rancho Cordova, Redwood City, Pleasanton and Eureka. For more information, call 800-654-8102 or 310-212-3344, email or visit

Asian Pacific Americans in Higher Education is dedicated to enhancing the educational opportunities for Asian and Pacific American students; promoting and supporting the hiring, retention, and advancement of qualified Asian and Pacific American faculty, staff, and administrators; and creating a better understanding of issues in the public affecting Asian and Pacific Americans in higher education.