Covered California open enrollment kicked off Saturday. The online exchange is expected to be flooded with applicants during the three month enrollment period.
Saturday, a healthcare workers union held an enrollment fair in South Sacramento to help locals navigate the process in person.
"It’s amazing because before I’ve been meaning to do a checkup to check on my health and I couldn’t do it before and now I can. So I’m really grateful for that," said attendee, Hiu Do.
Hiu Do was one of many who turned up at the free enrollment fair, organized by SEIU united healthcare workers west.
At the event, undocumented immigrant families could learn about health insurance options, people could register to vote, but the main goal was to get people signed up for Covered California.
"We have counselors to help them with that if they need and being that its different than last year was six months and this year was only three months,” said SEIU organizer, Rosalia Rodriguez.
One by one, volunteers helped attendees navigate the online process, which had some major technical problems during open enrollment last year.
Although officials say the issues have been fixed for this year’s enrollment period, many appreciated the guidance.
"Today it was really good that I signed up here, I had people to talk to instead of online which was really confusing for me but this was so much easier so much faster,” said Do.
Covered California is hoping for 1.7 million people to be enrolled this year.
Favian Betancourt is one of them. He is currently unemployed and says for him, getting health insurance will be a relief.
"I had a lot of worries I never knew if I was gonna get hurt or not so you have to be more safe. But now I can be safe and not worry about getting hurt,” said Betancourt.
SEIU will host about 80 open enrollment fairs throughout California over the next three months.
Open enrollment is underway now through February 15th.