OXNARD, Calif. - Thousands of people are rushing to get health insurance this week.
They are all trying to beat the mandatory March 31 deadline.
Under the Affordable Care Act every American must be enrolled in a health care plan or they will have to pay a penalty fee.
"It's $95 per adult, or it could be up to 1 percent of your annual household income and that's just for the first year their not enrolled," said Ventura County Covered California program manager Linda Bays.
Covered California officials report that so far on the Central Coast more than 51,000 people have signed up for health care under Covered California.
Covered California officials say those numbers are better than expected, but there are still more than 130,000 people in just Ventura County who are still uninsured.
Certified Covered California educators are available for free in your local cities. There are also events going on this week, that can help you and your family better understand Covered California.
On Thursdayfrom 7-8:30 p.m., Ventura County Supervisor John Zaragoza and the El Rio Municipal Advisory Council, will host an informational and educational community health care forum about Covered California. This free, open-to-the-public event will take place at the Roger Jones Community Center, 2868 Jourdan St., Oxnard. Certified Covered California Educators and Enrollment Counselors will be on hand to answer individual questions and make appointments for one-on-one enrollment assistance.
In Ventura County you can also call 805-981-5212 for help, and information on how to make an appointment. You can also reach assistance by going to www.vchca.org and click on "Covered CA Enrollment Help".
Residents in Santa Barbara County can go to www.sbcphd.org or contact one of these Health Care Centers:
Carpinteria Health Care Center: 805-560-1050
Franklin Health Care Center: 805-568-2099
Santa Barbara Health Center: 805-681-5488
Lompoc Health Care Center: 805-737-6400
Santa Maria Health Care Center: 805-346-7230