Health care agencies help Kern County residents enroll in Affordable Care Act

Health coverage will become effective January 2014

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Enrolling in health insurance through the Affordable Care Act can be confusing, but there are people whose job is solely to help you understand the process and answer questions. 

These people can help you with "the policies, rules, eligibility in the different health plans," according to Ana Velasquez, a program manager at Clinica Sierra Vista.

Whether you are in Bakersfield, Delano or Lamont, each of the Clinica Sierra Vista locations have staff on hand to answer any of your questions and to even help you enroll in insurance. 

"Our staff are trained to help them go through that process to see what their options are in terms of what their health care plan or even if they will qualify for Medical," said Velasquez. 

The staff is bilingual, so they are able to help anyone who brings appropriate documents, such as social security numbers of all family members and last year's tax information. 

But if you don't think you need assistance, the easiest way for you to sign up is online because "the consumer can fill out their application at their leisure, if they don't want to fill out all at one time, they can save and exit," said Pam Holiwell, Director of Department of Human Services. 



Where to apply:

  • The regional call center, (661) 631-6807, will be open from Monday through Friday at 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Apply online at   or call Covered California at 1(800)300-1506.
  • People can also apply in person at local Department of Human Services  offices or at Clinica Sierra Vista offices.
  • Still have questions? The NAACP will host a Covered California Forum on Monday at 6 p.m. at St. Peter RCCM Church, 510 East Brundage Lane. 

New health coverage should become effective January 2014, but Individuals will have to enroll and pay their premiums by December 15. 

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