Leo Santa Cruz and Laila Ali join the fight to raise awareness so that people register for the Covered California program

Having medical insurance is mandatory, there are fines, but also a lot of help

Boxer Leo Santa Cruz gives an exercise demonstration with a Covered California assistant. (Aurelia Ventura / The Opinion)

Aurelia Ventura / Impremedia / La Opinion

In the world of boxing everyone knows Leo Santa Cruz "The earthquake" as one of the best boxers of recent times. However, in his personal life this angel of Mexican roots has experienced very closely the pain of seeing his father sick and without medical insurance.

"3 years ago my father was diagnosed with cancer and it was very difficult for me and my family," the boxer said Monday morning during an informative Covered California event in downtown Los Angeles.

“When I went to training it was very difficult because I thought about how to pay the bills; everything was accumulating and we had to look for how to pay, ”recalled the boxer.

While his father was facing the battle against cancer, Santa Cruz focused on winning his pujilistic fights in order to pay for his medical expenses. The young man remembers that in one of his most important fights the worry did not let him focus and he lost.

Laila Ali (c), daughter of the ‘Greatest’ boxer of all time, Muhammad Ali, gives a transfer of exercises to the attendees and talks about the importance of obtaining medical insurance as soon as possible. (Aurelia Ventura / The Opinion)

"I couldn't be there completely concentrated, but when I heard from Covered California that it helps you pay what you can, and they help you find adequate medical insurance, it was better for us," Santa Cruz said during the event that took place at The Pad.

Event attendees also had the opportunity to participate in an interactive cardiovascular training inspired by boxing and directed by boxer Laila Ali, daughter of boxing legend Muhammad Ali.

"It is to remind all people that it is important to stay physically and healthy," said Yurina Melara, a spokesperson for Covered California.

At the event it was announced that the enrollment period of the health program in the state has already started a few weeks ago and will be open until January 31.

Attendees followed the instructions of Laila Ali, step by step, who encouraged them to follow a healthy lifestyle and exercise. (Aurelia Ventura / The Opinion)

Covered California is the health insurance market established under the Federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

"We tell interested parties that if they want to get their coverage by January 1, they must register before December 15," Melara said. "If they do it later (and until January 31) they will get their coverage by February 1."

Subsidies available

Covered California is the only place where federal assistance can be obtained to acquire health insurance with recognized companies.

Through this program, people can see if they qualify for a discount on an affordable health plan or if they can get health insurance through the state-owned Medi-Cal program.

Melara added that from this year the subsidies will be made available to families that earn more money. For example, in previous years a family of four who earned $ 100,000 or less qualified for a federal subsidy. Now the limit for the same family is $ 150,000.

"The subsidies will depend on age, the number of people living in the home, the zip code, among other things," Melara explained.

The spokeswoman also stressed that although at the federal level it is no longer mandatory to have medical insurance, in California if coverage is required.

"If they don't, a person can receive a fine of $ 700 or 2.5% of their salary," Melara said. "A family of 4 could pay up to $ 14,000 fine if it doesn't have coverage."

Since Covered California was implemented in 2014, it has helped decrease the number of people who are not insured to a record 7.2%. However, the census announced that in 2018 about 2. 8 million people do not yet have health insurance in California. Currently, 59% of people who do not have insurance have not obtained it due to the lack of legal status in the country.

Taking that into account, it is estimated that about 1.2 million Californians are eligible for medical coverage through Covered California or Medi-Cal.

All people who are legally in the country can speak with a Covered California representative to see what type of medical insurance suits them.

The number to call in Spanish is (800) 300-0213 or visit https://www.coveredca.com/espanol/


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here