U.S. Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-San Fernando Valley) and six of his Southern California colleagues called on local and regional media to assist them in reminding California families that they only have one month left to sign up for health insurance plans offered by Covered California or to take advantage of expanded Medi-Cal eligibility.

 Anyone who does not have health insurance coverage by April 30 faces a potential tax penalty that could be as high as $1,000 per family.

Cárdenas was joined by U.S. Reps. Xavier Becerra (D-Los Angeles), Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, Adam Schiff (D-Burbank), Norma Torres (D-Pomona), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Los Angeles), Janice Hahn (D-San Pedro) and Ted Lieu (D-Los Angeles).

“Enrollment has been extended this year, because it is the first year a potential penalty is in effect,” said Cárdenas. “It is very important for Californians to sign up for health insurance, or call their Representative for more information, before the April 30 deadline. Millions in California are already taking advantage of insurance that protects children through the age of 26, does not discriminate against pre-existing conditions and provides free preventive checkups. It’s fast, it’s easy and it’s the law.”

“The Affordable Care Act has given millions of Californians access to quality, affordable health security,” said Becerra. “I strongly encourage Californians who still need coverage to take advantage of this extended period and go online or call Covered California to explore their options. Get the word out to your friends and family members that the final deadline is April 30th.”

“I am glad that Covered California has decided to launch a special enrollment period for those who, due to a change of circumstance, may not have enrolled earlier,” said Schiff. “I encourage every Californian to use this opportunity to log on to Covered California’s website and to see if there is a health plan that is a better fit for their family’s budget and needs.”

“Over the past few years, I have worked to make the benefits of the ACA available and accessible to all Californians – from mandating Covered California materials and assistance in multiple languages to now serving as a resource to constituents as they navigate the process,” said Torres. “Signing up is easier than a lot of people realize, and many qualify for subsidies they might not even be aware of.  I encourage all Californians to get covered before the deadline, and to reach out for help if they are unsure of their options.”

 “If you don’t have health coverage, time is running out for you to enroll for this year,” said Roybal-Allard.  “Health insurance isn’t free, but its cost pales next to the cost of not having insurance in a medical crisis.  If you’re uninsured, be sure to sign up for Covered California or Medi-Cal before the April 30th deadline.  You can’t afford to miss this chance to get you and your family the coverage you need.”

 “Millions of Californians are gaining insurance under the Affordable Care Act who otherwise might not be able to afford it, and many for the first time,” said Lieu. “We must continue the final push to ensure every Californian signs up before the deadline. I ask everyone to check with their friends and family and see if they’ve signed up. April 30 is the final deadline.”

“I encourage everyone to sign up for health insurance before the April 30 deadline,” said Hahn. “Covered California offers affordable plans that will give you and your family access to care and peace of mind.”

Cárdenas has held more than a dozen Health Care Workshops that have enrolled more than 1,000 Valley families in private health insurance plans and Medi-Cal. His office will be holding one more such workshop on April 25, only a few days before the deadline for insurance.

Californians interested in signing up for quality, affordable health insurance can visit www.coveredca.com.