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Officials push for more Californians to sign up for health insurance

Officials to make push for health coverage enrollment

In this Nov. 13, 2013, file photo, Peter V. Lee, executive director of Covered California, the state’s health insurance exchange, talks at a news conference in Sacramento. The third open-enrollment period for the exchange begins Sunday.

(Rich Pedroncelli)

Public officials have planned a promotional bus tour to get more Californians to enroll in the state’s health insurance exchange, Covered California, with the first day of this year’s open-enrollment period beginning Sunday.

Residents will have three months during open enrollment to sign up for the exchange. Covered California has 1.3 million consumers, about 90% of whom receive subsidies to help cover their premiums.

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About 4 million Californians remain uninsured. Of those, officials estimate that 1.4 million would qualify for Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid program for low-income residents, and 750,000 others would be eligible for subsidies toward private health insurance.

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The statewide bus tour is intended to draw more people to sign up for the exchange and begins Sunday at the AltaMed Medical Group’s Boyle Heights office, with Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee to be joined by elected officials, including U.S. Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Los Angeles), state Sen. Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina), Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez (D-Los Angeles) and county Supervisor Hilda Solis.

Free health and dental screenings will be offered until noon. The bus then will continue on to St. Brigid Catholic Church in Vermont Square, where a health fair will offer health screenings, flu shots and HIV testing, followed by stops in Baldwin Hills, Lynwood and downtown Los Angeles.

Officials are hoping to enroll 295,000 to 450,000 more Californians during the enrollment period.

Twitter: @sewella

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