Over 60,000 Valley residents sign up for Covered California

The Fresno BeeMarch 17, 2014 

Covered California and the California Department of Health Care Services said Monday that an estimated 64,189 consumers in nine San Joaquin Valley counties have enrolled in insurance plans.

The new total represents a 24.5% increase from the 51,524 enrollments recorded through Jan. 31, 2014.

The Valley counties of San Joaquin, Kern, Stanislaus, Merced, Mariposa, Tulare, Fresno, Kings and Madera represent about 7 percent of the statewide enrollment through Feb. 28, Covered California said. The local total includes 58,820 consumers eligible for financial subsidies.

Covered California, the state health benefit exchange, also announced today that it had enrolled more than 1 million consumers statewide as of March 14.

"We've made significant progress in the Central Valley to enroll consumers in the health care coverage they want and need," said Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee said. "Communities throughout this region are responding to our message that health care is a right all Californians should enjoy. However, we still have lots of work to do to help tens of thousands of uninsured Central Valley residents get covered before the end of open enrollment on March 31."

Covered California has produced radio spots and videos in English and Spanish to encourage enrollment, particularly among Hispanics. Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farm Workers, joined Lee at an enrollment event in Stockton to announce enrollment numbers for the Valley.

Although Covered California enrollment ends March 31, enrollment in Medi-Cal is year round.

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