Health care volunteers spread out across King County Friday to spread the word about getting health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. They targeted the most uninsured neighborhoods.
One of the first stops was the Salvadorean Bakery in Seattle’s White Center, where only two of the dozen restaurant employees have health insurance.
"Sometimes, I feel embarrassed,” said Aminta Elgion, one of the bakery’s co-owners. "About four years I've been without insurance and it's been very, very, hard.”
The volunteers talked briefly with the restaurant staff, giving them the flier and the website to get more information to enroll.
At least 20 percent of the residents in the White Center area have no health insurance.
"A big barrier that I see this is the first time that many people will have health insurance, “ said Penny Lara, project manager with the county’s access and outreach team. “I don’t know about you, but it is confusing to me to navigate the system.”
Lara says some have never learned what premiums and deductibles are.
Employees at the bakery admit they have plenty of questions and confusion. But they’re also excited that they're one step closer to getting insurance.
“It's about time!” said employee Ana Castro.
King County has partnered with 23 organizations to help residents enroll in the Washington Health Benefit Exchange next month.