Valley seeks information at Affordable Care Act presentation

INDIO, Calif. - Nearly 150 Coachella Valley residents attended a free Affordable Care Act presentation at the Riverside County Fairgrounds in Indio on Monday.

The event reached out to people needing information about national health insurance options through health exchange, Covered California.

"I need some information because I don't have health insurance," said Lucinda Duran, of Indio. "Without insurance it's quite costly. I sure need it."

Insurance carriers and health experts were on hand to also discuss who's eligible.

"We're here to get folks acquainted with Covered California," said John Connolly with Insure the Uninsured Project. "A lot of folks have heard a lot of misinformation or are confused about what's coming. We're here to demystify what's coming and what's available," he said.

County Supervisor John Benoit said implementing ACA in the state and county will take some time.

"The process is not going as smoothly as people had hoped," said Benoit. "There are 100,000 people that will have insurance that didn't before, that's going to be a demand on the system, particularly Riverside County," he said.

Benoit said county hospitals and health clinics are gearing up for when coverage does kick in Jan. 1 and the demand comes.

"We're trying to prepare ourselves and the public on how we can work through this together," said Benoit.

For more information, visit www.CoveredCA.com.

With recent issues with the website, people can also sign up for insurance in person or over the phone by calling 800-318- 2596. The call centers are open 24 hours a day"Without insurance it's quite costly. I sure need it," said Lucinda Duran of Indio.

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