With more financial help available than ever before, time is running out for Californians to sign up for comprehensive health care coverage through Covered California. They have through Jan. 31 to sign up during the current open-enrollment period. The upcoming deadline comes as Covered California announced that a record-high 1.8 million people have signed up through the exchange.
“We want to make sure that people who need health insurance are not caught up in the final week of last-minute shoppers,” said Peter V. Lee, executive director of Covered California. “Visit CoveredCA.com today and find out how affordable coverage can be for you and your family.”
Those interested in applying for coverage can explore their options — and find out whether they are eligible for financial help — in just a few minutes by using the Shop and Compare Tool at CoveredCA.com. All they need to do is enter their ZIP code, household income and the ages of those who need coverage to find out which plans are available in their area.
The record-high number of enrollees is being driven by the American Rescue Plan, the federal response to the pandemic, which is providing enrollees with more financial help than ever before. As a result, two-thirds of Covered California enrollees are eligible to get coverage for 2022 for $10 or less per month.
In addition, financial help for middle-income consumers is lowering many of their premiums by hundreds of dollars every month.
“The American Rescue Plan provides the most significant savings for consumers since the Affordable Care Act began, but in order for people to benefit, they need to act before the month ends,” Lee said. “Your health is too important for you to be without coverage or access to care, especially during the ongoing surge of COVID-19 infections across the state.”
The recent surge of COVID-19 has caused the number of Californians infected by the virus to surpass 7 million, and the state’s death total is nearing 80,000.
A recent study found that the average cost for a complex care COVID-19 hospitalization, in which patients required ventilation or admission into an intensive care unit, was more than $127,000 in California. People with health insurance through Covered California would only pay a tiny fraction of that cost.
“No one wants to end up in an emergency room or hospital for COVID-19 or for any other reason, but if you do, a health plan through Covered California provides financial protection and can save you tens of thousands of dollars,” Lee said.
Covered California’s open-enrollment period runs through Jan. 31, 2022 — people who sign up by Jan. 31 will have their coverage start on Feb. 1.
“Many uninsured people do not know that they are eligible for financial help, which enables them to get coverage for $10 or less, or even at no cost,” Lee said. “Even if you have checked before, visit CoveredCA.com and check again, because now is the time to sign up with this increased financial help.”
In addition to signing up consumers through its website, Covered California also partners with certified and licensed enrollers who provide free and confidential help throughout the state. Covered California works with more than 11,000 Licensed Insurance Agents, who have established more than 500 storefronts in communities across California. Consumers can visit https://www.coveredca.com/support/contact-us/ and search for the agent nearest them. They can also call Covered California at (800) 300-1506 and get information or enroll by phone.
Covered California’s online enrollment portal and certified enrollers will also help people find out whether they are eligible for Medi-Cal. Medi-Cal enrollment is available year-round, and the coverage will begin the day after a person signs up. In addition, people can apply for Medi-Cal online or by picking up an application at one of the many county resource centers throughout the region.
Covered California is the only place where individuals who qualify can get financial assistance on a sliding scale to reduce premium costs. Consumers can then compare health insurance plans and choose the plan that works best for their health needs and budget. Depending on their income, some consumers may qualify for the low-cost or no-cost Medi-Cal program.
Covered California is an independent part of the state government whose job is to make the health insurance marketplace work for California’s consumers. It is overseen by a five-member board appointed by the governor and the Legislature. For more information about Covered California, visit www.CoveredCA.com.