Sebelius Promotes Health Insurance Exchange In Phoenix

By Alexandra Olgin, Nick Blumberg
Published: Wednesday, March 5, 2014 - 4:51pm
(Photo by Alexandra Olgin-KJZZ)
Secretary Sebelius posed with the Kizer family and Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox at an event in Phoenix. The Kizer FTD Awareness Foundation spreads the word about Frontotemporal Dementia.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was in the Valley on Wednesday promoting local efforts to enroll people in health coverage.

The enrollment deadline for health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act is the end of this month. With the cutoff date fast approaching, Sebelius visited Phoenix and praised local groups and events helping people to sign up. Her visit came ahead of the Heart and Sol Wellness Festival, which local governments and foundations are holding in downtown Phoenix on Saturday.

Sebelius is visiting states where the federal government is running the health insurance exchange and where a large portion of the population is uninsured. She said 18 percent of Arizonans have no health insurance.

"Arizona has a large number of Hispanics as part of the eligible residents, and Hispanics as a group are 17 percent of the population of the United States, (but) 30 percent of the uninsured," Sebelius said.

Sebelius said despite major problems early on, the sign-up process has gotten much easier.

"We don't want people to miss this opportunity," Sebelius said. "I don't want people to say in the middle of April, 'How do I go sign up for health coverage?' only to find they have to wait until the next open enrollment period. We're really trying to say, don't delay, now's the time (to) sign up. Come to the website, it's running smoothly, and don't miss your opportunity."

Sebelius hopes the 950,000 Arizonans who are uninsured and eligible for coverage will sign up.

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