Obamacare targets Filipinos in hopes of increasing enrollment

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Filipinos like Thelma Apalla were among those who attended this health plan enrollment fair in California.

This is her first time to apply for Covered California, and she knows it’s important.

“My husband is going to be out of insurance so I need one, and it’s important to me because I don’t have any insurance other than that,” said Apalla. “It’ll help me a lot because I’m a diabetic and I really need medical insurance for myself.”

According to officials, 1.2 million Californians signed up last year. Their goal for this year is 1.7 million.

Last year, the enrollment period was six months long, but this year, Californians only have until Feb. 15 to sign up.

“This is a three month window of time which is unique because in the past it’s been a much longer period, so we have a lot of work to do to educate the community and make sure they get enrolled with Covered California,” said Jeffery Cardenas, a policy aide of Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez.

Many volunteers were able to help attendees navigate the process by speaking in their native languages.

“From last year, what they noticed was that the key demographics of folks that were missing insurance were Latino and Asian, including the Filipino community that didn’t enroll last time,” said Cardenas. “So that’s our focus, is that we need to make sure these are the communities that we’re engaging.”

“It’s easy for me to talk to him and everything,” said Apalla.

Filipino counselors reassure kababayans that the process is very simple and fast.

“As long as they have complete documentations, such as their immigration status, their income documentation, and their California ID, we will be able to help them within 30 minutes and they’ll know the decision whether they qualify for Covered California or if we turn them down, then they will cover for Medi-Cal,” said Rose Wenceslao-Flores, a Covered California insurance agent.

Many are wondering how California Care would be affected, considering that Republicans are so keen on repealing Obamacare.

“I think folks can feel a little bit better about Covered California, about health care in California because there’s a really good collaboration going on to make sure that we get folks that are not insured to get insured, to get them the education that they need,” said Cardenas.

“I think it’s premature, to be frank,” said Charisse Ma Lebron of Working Partnerships USA. “I think what’s important is first to understand what’s before us right now, which is a great opportunity to come to an event like this and easily learn about your health care options, about quality health care, affordable health care, get enrolled, start having the kind of preventative care and specialty care to live a long and happy life.”

If you already have Covered California and want to renew or make changes to your plan, the deadline is December 15. To learn more information about enrollment and to find out about more events in your area, visit www.coveredca.com.

You can contact Rommel Conclara at rommel_conclara@abs-cbn.com and follow him on Twitter @rommelconclara for more information.

2 Comments on this post.

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  • Delia
    17 November 2014 at 4:12 pm - Reply

    Buyers Beware , Obamacare is a sham and the American people have been lied to and deceived every step of the way. Further, Obamacare has never been popular with the American people.

    Obamacare in its entirely was “sold” on lies. From the promise to keep your doctor to claims insurance rates would go down, not up , to hiding that the legislation was in fact a tax until of course it was necessary to argue it was a tax to save the legislation at the Supreme Court. Government bureaucrats promising an expansion of care knowing care under Obamacare would be limited, etc. Hell, even the official name for Obamacare, “The Affordable Care Act,” is a lie. Obamacare isn’t affordable.

    Even the Obamacare Architect said: Yeah, We Lied to The “Stupid” American People to Get It Passed. If you dont believe me do your research on Gruber the one who Architected the OBAMACARE.

  • noz
    17 November 2014 at 5:28 pm - Reply

    the only group that love obamacare are the freeloaders of america. for every five enrollees, four enrolled are subsidies by the government aka welfare recipients of the hard earned dollars of the hardworking americans. obamacare was passed solely by the commie demonicraps congress full of deceits, covering up this health care delivery system was built on wealth redistributions. people who are bloody screaming of the thousands percent increase in premium payments are those people with decent jobs, and decent assets in life. how in the world obamacare can survive in the long term, meaning where in the world this socialist, lefty government get the money on a sure target of huge deficits, the fact this nation already is in montrous over 17trillion debt to china. it looks like obamacare will simply just self disintegrate, once the money are short or gone, bye, bye, bye.