Deadline Day Push at Healthcare “Enroll-a-Thon”

A 19-hour free health fair is scheduled for Monday at SEIU-United Healthcare Workers offices

Healthcare workers are helping people sign up for health coverage Monday at a 19-hour "Enroll-a-Thon" in Commerce as the enrollment deadline nears. 

The free health fair -- scheduled to 5 a.m. to midnight in Commerce -- is for individuals who want to register for free and low-cost health coverage through Medi-Cal or Covered California. As of mid-day, about 470 people went through the process.

Workers ring a bell each time someone signs up for a plan.

"Some of the websites wouldn't let me through, so I came out here and did it," said Thelonious Green, of South LA. 

A new technical problem briefly prevented last-minute users from signing up on the federal government's health insurance website Monday. The White House said technicians had fixed the second glitch, which Health and Human Services spokesman Aaron Albright said affected people who were trying to create an account for a short period Monday.

With the deadline looming, more than 100,000 people were using the site at the same time.

As of 2 a.m. Monday, 1.2 million Californians had signed up for individual policies through the state's Covered California. Another 1.1 million who started applications were determined to be likely eligible for Medi-Cal, the state's version of Medicaid.

The deadline to sign up for coverage to avoid a fine is Monday at midnight. People who miss today's enrollment deadline for health insurance coverage will pay a tax penalty of $95 or 1 percent of their annual income above the tax-filing threshold of $10,150, whichever is higher.

The penalty rises in the future. The next enrollment period starts Nov. 15 for coverage starting in 2015.

"We wait, like taxes, until the last minute," said LA resident Jorge Garcia. "And, it's so much trouble. I had to miss a day of work to come in to make the papers work."

Medi-Cal enrollment for those who qualify is open throughout the year. Others who miss the deadline for individual coverage can get insurance later in the year if they get married, move, have a baby or adopt a child, lose their current coverage or have a change in income that would affect their eligibility for financial assistance.

Monday's sign-up event is sponsored by the healthcare workers union SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West.


Phone: 888-920-4517
When: Monday, 5 a.m. to midnight
Location: Office of SEIU-United Healthcare Workers, 5480 Ferguson Dr., Commerce, 90022

1. Proof of identity, such as a photo ID, driver's license or passport.
2. Proof of address, such as postmarked mail.
3. Proof of income, such as tax filings from 2012 or 2013 or the last 30 days of paystubs.
4. Proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate, permanent resident card, or certificate of citizenship or naturalization.
5. Enrollees also must provide date of birth, Social Security number, and home ZIP code.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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