Covered California Reps Come To Valley College To Help

By Shabaz Kazia, Staff Writer

Canopies and tables are set up outside Valley’s Administration Building; students are getting

educated on taking their first step at having health insurance through Covered California.

Stationed outside the Administration Building is Dr. Karen L. Ravago Researcher and Report

Director for USC’s Operation and Education program.

Dr. Ravago informed us that USC received federal funding from Covered California to set up

various information desks in local community colleges that help students figure out the best

healthcare policy for their individual needs.

USC’s program has also enlisted Monarchs pre-med biology major Sasha Nadir and sociology

major Natali Miltcharek to go to various classrooms and educate students on Covered

California’s options.

Former ASU staffer Nadir explained that USC’s H.O.M.E (Health Outreach through Mobile

Education) alongside with S.T.E.M (Student Teaching Engagement Model) projects have

employed student like herself and Miltcharek as a peer to peer approach.

Dr. Darnell Cole is responsible for this public awareness campaign, and his project was awarded

$500,000 by Covered California health benefit exchange. Students being more approachable than

a random stranger is the strategy that makes cautious students feel more comfortable.

“Students who don’t already know about Covered CA are usually a little skeptical of our

intentions when we first approach them,” said Nadir. “But once we clear up some of the

misconceptions people have about Obama Care, the response is great.”

Alongside being ill-informed, most students are probably unaware that they might be eligible for

free health care based on their annual income.

According to Sasha, they have received great positive feedback from faculty and staff who have

been very supportive and appreciative of the work they are doing. Students who are interested in

enrolling are urged to make their way to the Student Services Center Conference room located in

between the counseling office and the administration building.

Covered CA reps are helping students in need of healthcare with the enrollment process, guiding

them through the procedure and mainstreaming the whole ordeal.

Dr. Ravago hopes that students in need of coverage apply before the deadline on March 15 to

choose a plan if they want to be covered in April. The last day to make a payment for coverage

in April is March 26. With the deadline only a few weeks away, the efforts of USC project

couldn’t haven’t been more effective.

“Covered CA attendant was very helpful,” said history major Martin Brown. “At answering my

question and clarifying the whole process.”

The information desk is available Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. if any Valley

student needs clarification or just has general questions about the process.

Your thoughts?