Healthy Choices

Rio Americano High senior organizes school health event

Rio Americano High School senior Juzely Duran is part of a statewide effort to get out information on health care enrollment options, said Michelle Vargas, manager of the ALL IN Campaign for The Children’s Partnership.

What’s special about an event scheduled for Saturday is that Duran persuaded administrators to throw open the doors of the school library for a 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for an information session on health care enrollment through the Covered California state insurance exchange and other insurance providers, Vargas said.

For Duran, 17, getting involved in organizing a school health-care event is less an exercise in public policy than a reflection of the difficult choices she’s seen lower-income families confront.

“I’m really inspired about doing something to make it easier for people who have to choose: ‘Do we go to the doctor, or do we make a house payment,’” she said. “I don’t come from a very high income family and I saw how my mother struggled to pay $100 for a visit to an urgent care clinic. My mom was uninsured and at one point, I was uninsured. This is a huge cause in my community.”

The event at Rio Americano High School, 4540 American River Drive in Sacramento, is free and open to the public, and provides free child-care services.

Families and individual will learn about health coverage options through Covered California as well as representatives from private health insurance plans. Assistance will be available for the enrollment process.