Free KMC Community Health Fair Boost Insurance Coverage in Kern

MEDIA ADVISORY
March 17, 2013

Contact: tom.webster@seiu521.org

Media Line: (661) 321-4163

Free KMC Community Health Fair Boost Insurance Coverage in Kern

March 29 Kern Community Health Fair Puts the Community First: Free Health Services and Free Private Counseling for Enrollment into Covered California, Medi-Cal, and CalFresh

BAKERSFIELD, CA – As of mid-February, 828,638 Californians successfully enrolled into health plans through Covered California. Service Employees International Union, Local 521 and its partners plan to boost that number at the March 22 Community Health Fair.

While California continues to lead the nation in signing people up for low-cost or no-cost health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, there are still many uninsured yet to enroll. Efforts to enroll eligible individuals statewide and in the Latino population continue.

In order to continue to reach California’s most vulnerable populations, SEIU Local 521 has partnered with a number of local, community-based organizations in Kern to host the fair.

WHAT:                                 FREE KMC Community Health Fair

WHEN:                                 Saturday, March 29, from 10:00am – 3:00pm

WHERE:                               Kern Medical Center, Back Parking Lot

Attendees will receive free health services, education about high quality, low cost plans available through Covered California, and private counseling for enrollment into Covered California, Medi-Cal and CalFresh. In addition, representatives from Telemundo will provide free giveaways and representatives from WE Connect will help set up appointments for free tax preparation services.

SEIU Local 521 is a proud participant of Covered California’s Outreach and Education Grant Program. Certified Educators from Local 521 have already reached nearly 125,000 people who are likely eligible for financial assistance through Covered California.

“We worked hard to win health care reform and to bring the promise of affordable, quality care to all,” said Luisa Blue, Chief Elected Officer of SEIU Local 521. “We are proud to put our community first and ensure all families in Kern have equal opportunity to thrive.”

To date, the following organizations have confirmed participation in the fair:  Kern Medical Center, Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance, Community Action Partnership of Kern, United Farm Workers Foundation, Dolores Huerta Foundation, Community Trust Bank, and Planned Parenthood.

More information about the event can be found at http://getcoverednowca.com/.

About SEIU Local 521

SEIU Local 521 represents 57,000 members in the Central Valley South Bay, and Central Coast Area who work in the public and non-profit sector. Our communities thrive when residents, leaders and workers recognize that we are all in this together when it comes to our safety, health, and well-being. This is our Community First vision – where everyone is invested in the success of our communities. For more information about SEIU Local 521, visit www.seiu521.org.

About Covered California

Covered California is the state’s marketplace for the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. With health insurance coverage starting in 2014, Covered California helps individuals determine whether they are eligible for premium assistance that is available on a sliding-scale basis to reduce insurance costs or whether they are eligible for low-cost or no-cost Medi-Cal. Consumers can then compare health insurance plans and choose the plan that works best for their health needs and budget. Small businesses can also purchase competitively priced health insurance plans and offer their employees the ability to choose from an array of plans and may qualify for federal tax credits.

Covered California is an independent part of the state government whose job is to make the new market work for California’s consumers. It is overseen by a five-member board appointed by the Governor and the Legislature. For more information on Covered California, please visit www.CoveredCA.com.

About the Outreach and Education Grant Program

In May 2013, Covered California awarded 48 organizations, including SEIU Local 521, Outreach and Education grants to be used to conduct outreach and education programs on how Californians can access affordable health care coverage under the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Covered California will focus its outreach on 5.3 million Californians in need of individual insurance, about half of whom may be eligible for financial assistance with their premiums. The goal of the grant program is to increase awareness about the new benefits, to educate targeted audiences about the subsidy programs available to them and to motivate consumers and small businesses to be part of obtaining health insurance.

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