Tuesday , June 18 2024
Inland Empire Braces for 2014.001
Inland Empire Braces for 2014.001

Affordable Care Act gains local momentum

Obamacare appears to be gaining popularity in the Inland Empire.

Nearly 35,000 San Bernardino County residents had signed up for the national health insurance program as of Jan. 31, according to Covered California, the state agency that is administering the federal program.

That’s 96 percent of what Covered California had hoped to sign up in San Bernardino County by March 31, the deadline for open enrollment.

That figure also represented a significant improvement compared with the end of December, when only 45 percent of the registration goal in San Bernardino county had been met.

In Riverside County, nearly 25,000 people had registered for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act by the end of January, which was 61 percent of the sign-up goal for that county.

Combined, the two-county region had met about 78 percent of its registration goal, putting it ahead of Fresno (75 percent) but well behind the region’s three neighboring counties: Los Angeles (112 percent), Orange (164 percent) and San Diego (148 percent).

The Inland region accounted for about eight percent of the total enrollment for Obamacare as of the end of January

Statewide 728,410 people had signed up for the Affordable Care Act as of Jan. 31, which was 126 percent of the goal for the end of March, according to data released last week by Covered California and the California Department of Health Care Services.

Officials with Covered California attributed the December-to-January jump in San Bernardino County to the agency’s increased marketing campaign there, which included more advertising and greater outreach to the Spanish-speaking community.

The goal of registering slightly more than 75,000 Inland residents appears to be in reach, said James Scullary, spokesman for Covered California in Sacramento.

“We’ve made a big effort getting the word out any way we can, and it’s starting to pay off,” Scullary said. “The Inland Empire numbers, like the state numbers, are pretty solid, but there’s still a lot of work to be done.”

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