SEIU-UHW enrolls 11,000 Californians in health coverage

[April 2, 2014] LOS ANGELES – A union of healthcare workers in California enrolled more than 11,000 community members in Medi-Cal and Covered California during the open enrollment period, one of the highest totals of any organization in the state, including 1,865 people at four events held across the state March 31.

The members of SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) sponsored 175 free and public enrollment fairs through the March 31 deadline, at which 1,600 members volunteered to bring healthcare to Californians.

“We’re ecstatic at the response from people across the state that turned out to get health coverage and find the peace of mind that comes with being able to see a doctor when you need it,” said Dave Regan, president of SEIU-UHW. “We are a union of healthcare workers who are committed to improving the health of people in California, and the Affordable Care Act gave us the opportunity to put that passion to work.”

On the March 31 sign-up deadline, SEIU-UHW sponsored four events across the state, punctuated by a 19-hour “enroll-a-thon” at its Los Angeles office where 1,400 people signed-in and 1,133 started the enrollment application. As the Covered California website slowed under the crush of last minute visitors, union members distributed certificates to almost 400 people waiting in line, affirming they had made an effort to enroll and should be eligible for the April 15 sign-up extension. The union plans to invite those community members to finish the application process at an April 12 event in Los Angeles.

Of the Californians who enrolled with the union’s assistance since October 1, roughly 65 percent gained health coverage through Medi-Cal and 35 percent under Covered California. The enrollment events have included joint efforts with elected officials and community organizations, and featured sustained focus on Los Angeles, Sacramento and San Joaquin Counties. A generous grant from the California Endowment aided SEIU-UHW efforts.

Here are figures related to SEIU-UHW’s enrollment work since Oct. 1, 2013:

  • 14,273 Californians attended SEIU-UHW sponsored enrollment events;
  • 11,267 Californians enrolled in healthcare at SEIU-UHW sponsored enrollment events;
  • 3,480 Californians enrolled in healthcare just in the last week at SEIU-UHW events;
  • 1,600 SEIU-UHW members volunteered at the various events;
  • 175 SEIU-UHW sponsored enrollment fairs across California.

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