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Covered California Urges Hispanics To Sign Up For Obamacare

LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) — Covered California officials are teaming up with U.S. immigration officials to ease the fears of so-called mixed-status families that enrolling for Obamacare might result in deportation.

Since the second round of enrollment under the federal Affordable Care Act opened in mid-November, insurance companies and some states are focusing heavily on signing up eligible Hispanics.

Hispanics, a group that accounted for a large share of the nation's uninsured, accounted for just 11 percent of those who enrolled in the private policies sold during the initial sign-up period.

Part of the problem is that Hispanic children are have legal status in the U.S., but their parents do not, and there is a real fear that the government will use that information to send them packing.

But U.S. Immigration's Pedro Ribiero says that is an unfounded fear.

"No one in America who is eligible should be afraid to apply for health care coverage because they have a family with mixed immigration status," Ribiero said.

This second open enrollment period ends on Feb. 15.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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