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The first TV commercial rolled out in early September by Covered California, the state's new health-insurance exchange, seemed to be aimed at young people.

Health care reform is coming Jan. 1, 2014The advertisement uses a freeway-sign image to send a message to the age group most likely to consider health insurance an unnecessary expense.

"To those who've waited, worried, hoped and tried, taken risks and lived in a state of 'What if,' welcome to a new state of health. Welcome to Covered California," says the ad.

About 31 percent of all 18- to 34-year-olds in California are uninsured. But the challenge among state officials has been spreading the word about the federal health law and how the state-run insurance market applies to young adults.

At CSU Monterey Bay, the Institute for Community Collaborative Studies (ICCS) is working to address that problem by offering outreach and education to the campus and the larger community in advance of the March 31, 2014, deadline for people to sign up. (Coverage starts Jan. 1 if people enroll before Dec. 15, 2013.)

ICCS is sending certified Covered California educators into classrooms to present information, answer questions and distribute printed material. Those educators will also staff tables at campus events over the next several months where students and community members will have the opportunity to ask questions, have coverage options explained and get estimates of premiums. The public is invited to take advantage of this service.

DID YOU KNOW?
In 2010, California was the first state in the nation to enact legislation to implement the provisions of the federal Affordable Care Act by creating a health care marketplace – Covered California.

The final event will be held from 9 a.m. to noon on Nov. 14 in the University Center as part of the annual counselor conference.

Learn more about Covered California

Driving directions and a campus map are available here. Visitors are reminded that a parking permit must be purchased from a dispenser on the parking lots. Cost is $1 per hour.

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