Alameda County launches nearly nude campaign for healthcare

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To help implement President Obama’s healthcare overhaul in California, officials around the state are rushing to raise awareness and enroll hundreds of thousands of Californians in Medi-Cal, the state’s public insurance program.

For its part, Alameda County has settled on a decidedly stripped-down message, launching an ad campaign this week that features scantily clad families holding strategically placed signs that read: ‘Cover Your Family.’


The ads, which will be featured on billboards, buses and transit shelters, urge residents to call a help line and find out if they are eligible for Medi-Cal. County officials estimate that there are 15,000 children in Alameda County who are eligible for the program but not enrolled.

‘Our message is that you wouldn’t let your family go without clothes -- why let them go without health coverage,’ Lori A. Cox, director of the Alameda County Social Services Agency, said in a statement.

Most Americans face the requirement in January 2014 to buy health insurance or pay a penalty under the federal Affordable Care Act.

Gov. Jerry Brown earmarked $350 million in his proposed budget this month to help enroll more Californians in Medi-Cal. Under the proposal, enrollment rules would be simplified to cover residents who are currently eligible but not enrolled. Those costs would be split evenly between state and federal governments.


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--Michael J. Mishak in Sacramento