Health Providers Fielding Few Questions on First Day for Obamacare

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For all the fuss over Obamacare — the president’s plan to extend health coverage to about 30 million Americans — Southern California health providers were fielding only a smattering of questions on Tuesday, the first day of enrollment.

Luis Ramos, with his son Jacob, sought information on the Affordable Care Act last month at the East Los Angeles Health Fair. (credit: Gary Friedman/Los Angeles Times)

Officials at Covered California, the agency overseeing the state’s health insurance exchange, have a goal of signing up more than 2 million people through next year, the most of any state.

The state-run exchanges are marketplaces where individuals can buy health coverage from a host of competing companies, hopefully at reduced cost. They aim primarily to serve workers who get no health insurance through their employer.

On Tuesday at Long Beach Memorial Hospital, 50-year-old Tim Medeiros was waiting for his 22-year-old son to undergo a medical procedure. He also hoped someone at the hospital could explain whether Obamacare could help him get less expensive insurance.

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