Open enrollment began Sunday, Nov. 1 and ends Jan. 31. Covered California is the marketplace where consumers can get financial help to purchase health insurance.
This is the third open enrollment period and the group is excited about its successes to date. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), California’s uninsured rate has dropped from 17 percent in 2013 to 8.6 percent today. These newly insured are Californians who now receive free annual wellness exams and preventive services, make doctor’s appointments instead of going to the emergency room, effectively manage their chronic conditions and now have the peace of mind of knowing that they are covered.
Covered California is the only place where residents can access both quality health insurance and the federal financial assistance to help pay for it. Many Californians receive health insurance from their employers or qualify for other programs like Medi-Cal or Medicare. However, Covered California has become a safety net for everyone else who needs private health insurance but could not afford it in the past. Currently, 90 percent of the enrollees receive premium financial assistance which is determined on a sliding scale — the less the consumer makes the more assistance it receives to pay for that coverage.
Individuals can determine what level of financial assistance they qualify for or whether they are eligible for Medi-Cal by using the “Shop and Compare” tool on the Covered California website. By simply entering household income, zip code, age and the number of people that want to purchase insurance, consumers can get a close estimate of the financial assistance they will receive and the cost of each plan.
Open enrollment is the only time when Californians can enroll or change their insurance plan through Covered California, unless they have a qualifying life event. There are many ways to access Covered California’s insurance options. Consumers can enroll on their own at www.coveredca.com
, or speak with a Service Center Representative by calling 1 (800) 300-1506. They can also receive free, confidential, in-person assistance from a Certified Enrollment Counselor or Certified Insurance Agent.
As Covered California works to spread the word about the availability of affordable, quality health insurance, it hopes that local voices speak louder and reach more of California’s underserved populations. Sample materials and messages are available for local jurisdictions to use to write an op-ed for your local newspaper or share through any social media platform.
If you are interested in authoring a piece or want to learn more about how to spread the word, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org