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Affordable Care Act Launches

Many folks are scrambling to meet the federal mandate which requires all Americans to carry health insurance by early next year.
Tuesday marked a historic time as folks across the country, including California, enrolled for new health insurance.  It’s part of the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as ObamaCare.
 
Covered California call centers and website were jammed all day as people tried to enroll.
 
Meanwhile, dozens of students visited booths at Fresno State to learn how they can participate in the Affordable Care Act.

“I do have health insurance through Kaiser, but I am looking for a cheaper option,” said Jose Ramos, a Fresno State student.

An estimated 20,000 – 30,000 uninsured folks in the Central Valley now have an opportunity to invest in their health.

“Whether it's for diabetes, high blood pressure or God forbid it's for cancer.  They're going to be able to deal with it and they're not going to have to bankrupt themselves,” said Sarah Reyes of The California Endowment.

California is expected to serve as a good measuring stick of how well this new law will work.

“With our size, our scope and our diversity, California can really lead the way,” said Diana Dooley of Covered California.

Covered California offers access to a dozen insurance companies with a variety of plans.  Applicants will not face prejudice due to pre-existing conditions.

“Gone are the days of invasive questions when you apply for insurance about your allergies, your asthma, your diabetes and your cancer.  Gone, you're never going to be asked that again,” said Peter Lee of Covered California.

Karina Flores has been living without health insurance.  The Fresno State student is glad to see this opportunity present itself.

“Everybody should have the right to get some sort of medical care at a very low cost,” said Karina Flores, a Fresno State student.
 
Coverage goes into effect January 1st, 2014.  However, the open enrollment period lasts until March 31st, 2014.

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