By Courtney Mata |Staff Writer|
A $95 fine will be issued for those without health insurance by March 31.
The fine will affect next year’s tax season and will double every year.
“We are hoping that everyone takes advantage of the new health insurance, Covered California’s payment plans are reasonable,” said Claudia Ortiz, a Covered California representative.
Only one student attended the workshop held by Covered California on Tuesday.
“I came today, because right now I do not have health insurance,” said student Ismael Sanchez.
“I’m signing up because I need health insurance and because I do not want to get fined,” continued Sanchez. “It’s $100 the first year and the second year it doubles.”
Covered California offers a variety of health insurance plans that will help individuals afford insurance.
“If you are making less than $15,856 a year then you qualify for Medi-Cal, which is free insurance,” said Ortiz.
Students without insurance should apply now before it is too late.
“After March 31, if you do not have health insurance then you will get a fine,” said Ortiz.
“It is really simple to apply. Just make sure you have your W2s, 1098-T form if you get financial aid, social security card, and a legal document showing proof of a permanent residence,” said Eduardo Rayan, a Covered California enrollment counselor.
Kinesiology professor Aaron Moffett believes that students without health insurance should get it.
“Students should absolutely take advantage of Covered California, it is the purpose of the Obama Care plan,” said Moffett.
Moffett believes that students should have insurance in order for them to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
“I think it’s vitally important for students to maintain their health,” said Moffett.
Sophomore Sean Ehrenkranz is currently under his family insurance.
“As of now I have health insurance, but once I become of age and I have to obtain my own insurance, I honestly am hoping I am employed somewhere at the time that has health benefits,” said Ehrenkranz.
“Under the new Affordable Care Act, many of our students, families and staff members will be eligible for either no-cost, public insurance under the newly expanded Medi-Cal program, or heavily discounted (subsidized) private insurance purchased through a new government entity known as Covered California,” according to CSUSB Covered California.
As of now, the Covered California is experiencing some difficulties with their websites and those trying to get in touch via phone are in for a long wait.
“The website problems come at a crucial time as the Covered California exchange tries to persuade more uninsured people to sign up ahead of a March 31 deadline,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
Covered California will visit CSUSB again on Tuesday, March 4 from 2-4 p.m. and Thursday, March 13 from 2-4 p.m. in the Lower Commons.
Students who are interested in applying or seeking more information should visit the Covered California website or contact Claudia Valtierra Ortiz at (909) 537-5342 or firstname.lastname@example.org.