A total of 190,000 people in Phoenix alone are eligible for health care coverage through exchanges but still don’t have insurance.
The U.S. Surgeon General was in town at an event hosted by the office of U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-7th) that allowed people to come in and get help in signing up for health care coverage.
“We have to do everything we can to get people covered,” U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said. “For me this is personal because of what I’ve seen in the clinic and the hospital, but as Surgeon General as well, my responsibility is look out for the health of everybody in America. And this is one of the most important things that Americans can do.”
According to Cover Arizona, the minimum penalty for individuals who don’t have insurance starts at $695 in Arizona. The coalition said that two out of four Arizonans will pay $50 or less per month for health insurance.
Gallego’s office helped organize the event. Gallego said he got involved to serve his constituents but also because he knows first-hand the struggle to pay for coverage.
“For me personally growing up, we were on and off health insurance for many years, and I had to see my mom sacrifice trying to figure out either how to pay for health insurance or sometimes we’d have to go without it,” Gallego said. “It’s something that I think is extremely important, and I just want to make sure everyone has the opportunity. We should take advantage of it.”
By the end of the day, 112 people were able to sign up for health insurance during the open enrollment event. For more information or to sign up for coverage visit Cover Arizona.