Healthcare enrollment event draws hundreds of Hispanics looking - CBS46 News

Healthcare enrollment event draws hundreds of Hispanics looking for coverage

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With just 30 days to sign up for health insurance to avoid paying a tax penalty, organizers in a heavily Hispanic community in DeKalb County wanted to get people enrolled before it's too late.

The Get Covered American campaign came to Georgia on Saturday, and the event went the extra mile for people whose primary language isn't English.

Hundreds came to get help enrolling for health care as part of the Affordable Care Act.

According to organizers, a large portion of the Latino population in Doraville lacks healthcare.

"I'm glad we put the event together because without the event inside the community they would not have pursued this," said Carolyn Monden Rodriguez, the regional organizer of the event.

But even when they do try, many run into language and technology barriers. Many need translators, and to set-up email accounts for the first time.

After a few keystrokes, people like Dulce Pereira were ready to start the process.

Pereira has been without health insurance for five years.  Last year she had a scare, a pain in her gallbladder. Everything turned out alright, but it got her thinking about picking up healthcare.

She tried twice to figure it out on her own attending healthcare seminars, which left her frustrated and depressed. "No help, just talking; talking and giving information, and nothing; nothing else," said Pereira.

Saturday was totally different. Pereira says it was quick and easy. With the help of a translator and a healthcare marketplace navigator, she found and purchased coverage. "Now I'm feeling I'm protected," said Pereira.

Like many at the event getting coverage took a weight off her mind and lifted her spirit.

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