New Pasadena center helps people select health care plan
By Rebecca Kuzins 02/26/2014
If you are looking for health insurance plans available under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) — more commonly known as Obamacare — the Cover LA Health Insurance Enrollment Shop at 316 E. Colorado Blvd. can help you select a plan by the March 31 enrollment deadline.
The shop is operated by ChapCare, previously known as the Community Health Alliance of Pasadena, a local health care provider serving patients throughout the San Gabriel Valley.
In an interview with the Pasadena Weekly last year, ChapCare CEO Margie Martinez said her organization served about 15,000 patients who were “usually low-income, uninsured and underserved.” She anticipated the ACA’s Medi-Cal provisions would result in an influx of new low-income patients.
“We really want people to make sure [that the insurance enrollment shop] is a community resource,” said ChapCare Marketing Manager Steven Abramson. The facility, he added, will enable people to “sit down with a real live human being who will help you.”
The shop is sponsored by Cover LA, a group of Los Angeles County health centers seeking to provide the public with information about the ACA’s insurance options.
Under the ACA, individuals earning less than $35,000 a year and families of four making less than $94,000 qualify for federal subsidies that offset the costs of this insurance. Obamacare also expands eligibility for Medi-Cal, California’s federally funded health care program for low-income people. Under the changes, individuals and families are now eligible to receive Medi-Cal benefits if their annual incomes are at or below 133 percent of the federal poverty level, which is $21,600 for individuals and $44,100 for families of four. The new health insurance plans are being offered through Covered California, a state health benefits exchange that is marketing its products online.
The Cover LA Health Insurance Enrollment Shop is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday. The facility will handle walk-in business, but Abramson advises customers to make an appointment in advance. For more information, call (626) 486-9729.