On October 3, 2009, members of the Social Security (IESS) arrived to New York with the intention to promote voluntarily affiliation.
This is an old aspiration from the Ecuadorians that live in the area since they don’t have residency documents; this limits their access to health services. On that date the president of the IESS board, Ramiro Gonzalez said that the immigrants are signing a treaty with Banco del Austro, so their salaries get a discount of $218 a month to cover health services.
One year later, immigrants agree that this affiliation was nothing more than an offer, because there aren’t any benefits with the medical centre’s of EE.UU for people over 40. Before the affiliation they must demonstrate they don’t have a record of previous diseases.
“The operative section of the treaty hasn’t been finished. We are waiting for the IESS to approve the recollection of the payments from the voluntarily affiliates, but so far they don’t say anything.” Commented a representative of Banco del Austro. Meanwhile Carlos Cordova member of the Danbury immigrants group stated that he has tried to affiliate himself through the web page of the IESS (www.iesss.gov.ec) but it doesn’t always work. He also added that there isn’t any information regarding where they can do the payments, the clinics involved in the program, or where can they affiliate. Cordova stated that there is no one who can give specific information on this.
Gonzalez assured that the details for the affiliation have already been done and that some immigrants have registered. “In EE.UU we have over 370 affiliates this month, the cause of the problem might be the lack of information.”
Bertha Hidrovo, from the information centre “Ecuadorian House” in EE.UU said that the office only has the data shown on the IESS web page. Those that are less than 40 years can affiliate themselves through Internet and they are not obliged to present a medical certificate.
Several organizations of immigrants in Danbury gathered to request the presence of Gonzalez in the United States to inform them on this matter. Many immigrants are interested on this opportunity; Gonzalez himself said that this work is revolutionary to give basic medical attention in EE.UU.
“We are doing a contest for the project and with that we’re going to present a campaign for a broader diffusion.” Added Gonzalez