SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – There are thousands of people still without health care coverage in Sacramento County, but some families were able to sign up thanks to one high school student.

Understanding the Affordable Care Act can be somewhat overwhelming, Rio Americano High School student Juzely Duran decided to take on the task for her senior project.

“Not very many people can afford health care,” said Duran. “Sometimes people have to bargain between house mortgage payment, or going to the hospital and it costing hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

Duran experienced this first hand.

“My mom is uninsured. She’s a licensed home daycare provider, and when it comes to health care and making that (mortgage) payment, it’s just out of the question. It’s way too expensive,” said Duran.

So for her senior project — along with some classmates — Duran put together a health and enrollment fair in her school’s library.

“In Sacramento County, there are about 200,000 families who do not have health insurance,” said Hellan Roth Dowden, Teachers For Healthy Kids. “So we’re trying to get out to the area where the families are to make it easier for them to know about the health insurance.”

The ALL IN Campaign also played a part reaching out to school communities.

“Meaning schools, early learning, after school providers, to make sure they have general information about the Affordable Care Act — what Obamacare means to California,” said Melissa Vargas, manager of the ALL IN Campaign for The Children’s Partnership.

“It saved me having to take a day off and spend six hours in line somewhere; and I’m not a computer person, so I really appreciate it,” said Cheryl Honda.

Duran hopes her senior project helps a lot of people but — most of all — her mom.
“Hopefully we’ll get her enrolled in some health care, because that is essentially my main goal — to have my mom healthy,” she said.

The next ALL IN event will be held at Natomas High School on January 25.

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