Officials Launch Bus Tour to Promote California Health Insurance Exchange

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Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California, seen earlier this year. (Credit: Anne Cusack/Los Angeles Times)

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The head of California’s health insurance exchange toured Los Angeles by bus Sunday, seeking to publicize the Affordable Care Act’s potential benefits among Southern Californians, many of them Latino, who officials say have failed to take advantage of the law.

On the first day of this year’s open-enrollment period for federally subsidized health plans, the tour’s first stop — in East L.A. at the nonprofit care provider AltaMed Health Services — previewed what state officials say will be an overarching strategy as they seek to boost enrollment in the third year of the state-run marketplace, called Covered California.

“Success for the Affordable Care Act is about success with the Latino community,” Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee said in an interview before boarding the bus that would ferry him to other locations in East and South L.A. throughout the day. Lee said that more than 40% of uninsured state residents eligible for subsidies are likely to be Latino.

State officials say they are focused this fall on the estimated 750,000 people who are eligible for Covered California subsidies but have not signed up for coverage.

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