As open enrollment began on Tuesday, thousands utilized NBC4's phone bank to answer questions regarding the new health exchange program. Whit Johnson reports for NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Oct. 1, 2013.
As Californians sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, meet the men and women who are taking advantage of the historic exchanges to help you understand how the new law might affect you and your family.
Nakeya Fields, of Glendale
“For three years, I have basically been using free clinics and Planned Parenthood. … When I got pregnant with (my son), I couldn’t go get insurance because it was considered a pre-existing condition.”
Anna Luke Frazier, of North Hollywood
“So far, my insurance has just been ‘catastrophic,’ just because I’m young enough and I’m healthy enough and I can’t really afford anything else. … It’s a scary position to be in.”
Jeffray Gardner, of Torrance
“There are times where we would like to take (our 3-year-old son) to a medical facility but there’s a part of me that says, no, we can’t do that. ... My children have never had a dental check up."
Matthew Grays, of Pomona
“It’s an alarming feeling you get inside yourself where, I’m uncertain as to where my future’s gonna lie.”
Enrique Ramirez, of La Puente
“My son has been injured in the knee playing football, so I know nothing comes easy, nothing comes cheap. I just want my family to be covered.”
The agencies whose members staffed the NBC4's Covered California phone bank on Tuesday include: Access California, St. Francis Medical Center, St. Vincent Medical Center, Los Angeles County Federation of Labor UCFW148 and LA Trade Center, Valley Community Clinic and JWCH Institute.