Pan, teachers union promote ‘largest’ HC enrollment event

  ·  Bryan M. Gold, Elk Grove Citizen   ·   Link to Article

State Assembly Member Dr. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) and partners including the Elk Grove Education Association (EGEA) will hold what is billed as the largest healthcare enrollment event in Elk Grove on Feb. 1.

“Getting healthcare coverage is something that is important to improving the health of our communities,” Pan said at the EGEA office to promote the event on Jan. 11. “We need to create a culture of coverage.”

Pan said people who are uninsured tend to get care too late, and that obtaining healthcare coverage reduces the burden of disease and long-term health costs.

The pediatrician said people may have tried to obtain coverage and decided it was something they couldn’t do. 

Pan wrote the legislation and was involved in developing Covered California, which is the state’s health insurance exchange. He said the federal Affordable Care Act is reducing the cost of healthcare coverage for many people, including students.

“Teachers know you can’t teach a student that isn’t in your classroom,” he said. “That student who is sick and can’t attend school is missing out on an education.”

Kathleen Tijan, a science teacher at Toby Johnson Middle School and an EGEA vice president, agreed.

“As educators, we know how important healthcare is for students to learn,” she said. “One of the major factors of academic success is attendance.”

Rancho Cordova resident Linda Hamm told attendees at the association office that she and her husband, both in their 60s, had pre-existing conditions that cost them $1,575 a month for medical insurance.

Through Covered California, which Pan said can’t deny coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, Hamm and her husband now pay $130 a month for the “silver” coverage plan.

Pan said the city of Elk Grove, the Elk Grove Unified School District, the Cosumnes Community Services District, Organizing for Action, and U.S. Rep. Dr. Ami Bera (D-Elk Grove) are also supporting the effort.

People who attend the Feb. 1 event will be able to enroll for healthcare coverage. Attendees need to bring valid identification, proof of California residence, pay stubs for the last 30 days, and a birth certificate or permanent resident card.

The 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. event will be held at the EGEA office, located at 9297 Office Park Circle, Suite 100, in Elk Grove. The association office is near Elk Grove City Hall.

For more information, contact Pan’s district office at 262-0999.