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Deadline Nears for January Insurance Coverage under the Affordable Care Act

Covered California Canvassing Neighborhoods – In an effort to enroll eligible African Americans in affordable health coverage, Covered California is launching an aggressive neighborhood canvassing initiative that includes door-to-door outreach, enrollment events at churches, branded outreach vans and educational materials at barbershops and hair salons in high-priority African American

Covered California Canvassing Neighborhoods – In an effort to enroll eligible African Americans in affordable health coverage, Covered California is launching an aggressive neighborhood canvassing initiative that includes door-to-door outreach, enrollment events at churches, branded outreach vans and educational materials at barbershops and hair salons in high-priority African American

Submitted by Covered California

An important deadline approaches for Californians who want to start the New Year with the protection of health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Open enrollment is underway and consumers who want to be covered on January 1, need to enroll by December 15.

Covered California, the agency that administers the ACA in California, has made African American outreach a priority for the year three of the historic program. Since 2014, more than two million people have gotten insurance through Covered California, including African Americans who make up 5 percent of the state’s population that is eligible to receive financial assistance to help them pay for coverage and medical care. African Americans though have been slow to enroll at a rate that matches their share of the population.

“While we have all worked together to dramatically raise awareness about the new law, we have more work to do,” Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee said. “We estimate there are still more than two million uninsured people in California who are either eligible for Covered California or qualify for Medi-Cal.”

Through Covered California, consumers can get financial help, or tax subsidy, that can be worth hundreds of dollars per month and bring health care within reach.

They are spotlighting the fact that more than half of those who have enrolled in Covered California — almost 700,000 — pay less than $100 a month, with the balance being covered by the federal tax credit. That is real affordability.

“You can find out if you qualify for financial help, and examine your plan options, by using the “Shop and Compare Tool” at CoveredCA.com,” Lee said.

Going forward Covered California will be spotlighting enrollment events at storefronts, insurance agent offices, community events and other locations. Go to the agency’s website to “find local help.”

This year’s open enrollment period is three months long, and runs until January 31. However, if you qualify for Medi-Cal, you can enroll at any point during the year. If you or someone you know doesn’t have health care coverage right now, this is the opportunity to enroll in Covered California.

 

36th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Prayer Breakfast Moves to CSUSB

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- The Inland Empire Concerned African American Churches invites the community to the 36th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Prayer Breakfast. The Prayer Breakfast will be held on Monday, January 18, 2016 at 7:30 a.m. at California State University San Bernardino Coussoulis Arena. Tickets are $25 per person and parking is free. Tickets can be purchased online at www.iecaac.com/events.

There is still time to be a sponsor of this historic event and to buy an ad in the souvenir book. Your support is very much appreciated. For more information, please contact the Inland Empire Concerned African American Churches at (909) 474-7036 or by email at IECAAC1998@gmail.com. You may also visit their website www.iecaac.com.

IECAAC membership includes more than 20 churches throughout the Inland Empire. They are committed to addressing the needs, leading change and improving our communities. Their mission is community self-sufficiency and sustainability in spiritually, education, community development and economic development through faith-based efforts.

 

Youth Builds Career with Help from the Workforce Investment Board

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SAN BERNARDINO, CA- Brandon Mason attributes his career in healthcare to the opportunities provided to him by the San Bernardino County Workforce Investment Board (WIB).

The shy, gentle-natured 21-year-old man was raised by a single mother and completed high school with aspirations of becoming a physician.  He enrolled in San Bernardino Valley College where he soon changed course and decided to pursue nursing.

It was the devastating diagnosis of his mother’s breast cancer that compelled Mason to step away from the Certified Nursing Assistant program and find employment to support his mother and two younger siblings.

During his tenure as janitor at a local amusement park, his hopes of pursuing the nursing degree began to fade until he learned of the WIB Youth Program.  This program is designed to help youth ages 16 to 24 enhance job skills, develop leadership qualities, explore career options and take advantage of paid internships available to help them build experience.

He enrolled in the program through Provisional Accelerated Learning Center in San Bernardino in December 2014 and took the opportunity to complete vocational training at Summit College.  Today, Mason is a Certified Nursing Assistant and employed full-time at Hacienda Heights Healthcare and Wellness.

“The Youth Program helped get me to where I am now,” Mason said.  “I don’t know what I’d be doing today, honestly, if it wasn’t for the program, and I am grateful for all the things people involved did to help me.”

Mason intends to reach out to the WIB in the near future to seek assistance in pursuing a Licensed Vocational Nurse degree back at Summit College.

“We strive to achieve success stories like Mason’s in San Bernardino County, as it reflects our Countywide Vision of a vibrant economy with a skilled workforce,” said James Ramos, Chairman of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors. “This Youth Program is just one of the innumerable services available to San Bernardino County residents that provide resources and support to realize long-term success.”

Other services provided at no cost include skills assessment, career counseling, job training and placement, resume assistance and interview training, and access to computers, printers, faxes and telephones.

“We have seen a high success rate of participants in our Youth Program securing employment after completing the program,” said Sandy Harmsen, Executive Director of the San Bernardino County Workforce Investment Board.  “The program takes a comprehensive approach in helping youth ages 16 to 24 enhance their job skills, develop leadership qualities, explore career options and take advantage of work experience opportunities.”