Getting signed up: Richard from California

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By Consumers Union on Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

After graduation from college, Richard from Sacramento considered having health insurance a top priority. But on a tight budget, he couldn’t see an affordable way to get covered and went a year and a half uninsured. “I looked into private health insurance because it was worrisome to be without healthcare coverage. It was $150 a month, which was not worth it to me. I am very healthy and don’t take any medications – but what would happen if I got into an accident?”

The rollout of the Affordable Care Act and CoveredCalifornia.com brought new, more affordable options for Richard who discovered he’s now eligible for Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid program, which was recently expanded under Obamacare.

Many recent college grads are taking on part-time jobs or internships, which may not provide employer-sponsored health insurance. Getting coverage through Covered California or Medi-Cal can provide security, especially for Richard, who currently has a part-time job and wants to move into a career in IT. “I work with a lot of people who are transitioning to new careers, changing careers, training, etc. It’s good to have options for coverage in those in-between times.”

While the process was confusing at times, Richard says, “It was totally worth it. In my opinion, the amount of information required was minimal for something as important as healthcare – I’m thrilled.”

While Richard hasn’t used his new insurance yet, it’s the peace of mind that’s most important to him. “I hurt my hand a few weeks ago, and while I didn’t end up going to the doctor for it, even getting an x-ray would not have been an option for me before getting covered.”

Do you have a story about signing up for health insurance in California you’d like to share with us? Share your story here.

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