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While conservative Republicans try to make a political issue of Obamacare, Californians and El Dorado County citizens are enrolling for health care in 2014. Covered California is the name for Obamacare in California. It was created and run entirely by a state agency under the Department of Health and Human Services. Moreover, the department’s MediCal division is enrolling hundreds of thousands into the expanded MediCal program.
The Covered California online enrollment and on-phone enrollment have been working since Oct. 15. During that time 403,000 applications have been handled. Of these, 155,000 are eligible for subsidized premiums and 64,000 for excellent but unsubsidized policies; 180,000 more are eligible for subsidized MediCal. The Sacramento region including El Dorado County has accounted for 6 percent of these while having only 5 percent of the population.
How are people enrolling? At last word, enrollment online is 20 minutes for those prepared to make all their choices. In El Dorado county in-person enrollment counselors are available at the El Dorado Community Health Center and Marshall Medical Center. In addition 11 insurance agents are certified and anxious to help in the Placerville area, more in the entire county. The El Dorado County Human Services offices are prepared to provide counseling and then enrollment in either expanded MediCal or Covered California.
How are people finding out about their options? First is a state-wide TV advertising campaign. Next the Website coveredca.com and the phone centers 1-800-889-1506 can actually do enrollments as well as offer much advice and information. Last but not least is our group of Community Outreach Network volunteers who appear at each of the libraries and in front of Kmart, Safeway, Grocery Outlet and Walmart. Look for us there.