Obama Care Deadline: Hundreds In Valley Get Covered
FRESNO, Calif. (KMPH) —
The clock is ticking for people who still have not signed up for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
According to officials with Covered California, the deadline to start the online application is slated for Monday, March 31st.
Representatives from Covered California held an event at the Fresno Fairgrounds to get Valley families on board, before its too late.
Hundreds of Valley people braced the long lines Saturday morning to finally get health insurance.
"My feet are killing me, I'm hungry, and I want to go home. I'm tired, sleepy but the urge of getting coverage is what keeps me going," said Fernando Pacheco.
Pacheco is 21-years-old.
He works part-time, and doesn't qualify for health insurance through his job.
"Accidents at home or accidents at work ... it always comes in handy knowing that you are covered," said Pacheco.
According to representatives with Covered California, people like Pacheco are their target demographic; young single adults and young families who have not had access to health insurance in the past.
"It's important for folks to sign up because they may be eligible for no cost health insurance. That means that they pay nothing out of pocket or very low cost health insurance; they may actually qualify for financial assistance through covered California," said Sandra Celedon from Covered California.
But understanding how the process works can be confusing, especially for people who say they haven't had insurance before.
'When they said that there would be somebody here to walk you through it, I was like ... I am on that because I did not understand getting online. It was so confusing," said Julianna Genovese, a Fresno resident.
Spanish and English speaking representatives allowed families to ask questions and get answers on the spot; helping bridge the gap from clueless to covered.
"We know that we are doing a really great job with enrolling folks in Fresno County. We are at about 50% enrollment but we want to definitely get to a 100%," said Celedon.
Representative also provided people with a long list of care providers and doctors in the Valley who accept Obama Care.
According to Celedon, the deadline does not apply for people who are low income and eligible for Medi-Cal.
Celedon adds that people who do not get insurance by the end of the year, could face a tax penalty.