RICHMOND -- Activists celebrated Valentine's Day by passing out "Health Care Valentines" downtown on Thursday.
The idea was to spread word about Contra Costa County's Low Income Health Program (LIHP), which has thousands of unfilled spots for uninsured residents.
"People need to have access to health care before the emergency room," said Najari Smith, one of about a dozen local activists from the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), which organized the rally and passed out fliers around Nevin Avenue and 11th Street.
LIHP is part of the Affordable Care Act's Medi-Cal expansion before 2014. Uninsured adults can qualify for health coverage provided by the county, matched with federal dollars, if they earn less than twice the federal poverty level, about $23,000 per year for a single adult. An estimated 30,000 area residents may be eligible but are not yet signed up, ACCE spokesman Melvin Willis said.
Call the county hotline at 1-800-771-4270 or visit cchealth.org/insurance/basic_health_care/ for more information.