Friday, February 20, 2015

Covered California Offers Consumers a Chance to Minimize Their Tax Penalty by Enrolling in a Health Insurance Plan

New Category Created for Special Enrollment Allows Those Unaware of a Tax Penalty for Being Uninsured to Sign up for Coverage by April 30

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Covered California is offering a special enrollment opportunity for consumers who did not know or understand there was a tax penalty for being uninsured in 2014 or who learned they may face a penalty for 2015.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Nearly 474,000 People Have Selected Plans Through Covered California as Open Enrollment Winds Down

More Than Three-Quarters of a Million Enrolled in Medi-Cal

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Covered California announced Tuesday that nearly 474,000 people selected health plans by midnight Sunday, including more than 36,000 on Sunday alone — the largest volume of any day since open enrollment for 2015 coverage began on Nov. 15.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Covered California Enrollment Breaks 400,000 as the Final Weekend of Open Enrollment Began

Consumers Urged to Sign Up for Health Insurance by Midnight Sunday

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — With just one day remaining until open enrollment ends, Covered California announced Saturday that more than 415,000 had enrolled in health coverage by the end of the day Friday, including more than 25,000 on Friday alone.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Open Enrollment Enters its Final Days as Covered California Prepares for Surge

Consumers Urged to Sign up by Deadline or Face Financial Penalty; Thousands of Insurance Agents and Enrollment Counselors Ready to Help

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — With only four days remaining until the end of open enrollment for affordable health insurance, Covered California officials on Thursday urged uninsured Californians to sign up and join millions of Californians who have gained coverage through Covered California and Medi-Cal.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Covered California Highlights How Coverage Is Improving the Health of Enrollees and Changing Lives Across the State

Deadline to Enroll in Affordable, Quality Health Care Is Feb. 15

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — With just 10 days left until the close of open enrollment, Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee and Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins appeared in San Diego Friday to promote enrollment and highlight ways that health insurance is improving the health and well-being of Californians.

“We’re traveling across the state to make sure everyone knows that the deadline to enroll for coverage is only 10 days away,” Lee said.

Lee and Atkins appeared in San Diego at the UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest.

Atkins, D-San Diego, said, “UC San Diego — and the San Diego region — are leaders in developing effective medical treatments. But the best treatment in the world won’t matter if someone doesn’t have access to health care. We are doing everything we can, not only in San Diego, but across the state, to make sure people know that they have until Feb. 15 to sign up for affordable, quality health care.”

As Covered California continues its second historic year, people are coming forward to share how their lives have been changed by getting insurance. A new series of videos now airing on social media tells of enrollees who got access to care that saved their lives, improved care for their children and caught cancer through preventive screenings.

“The scope of change underway in our health care system is dramatic, and it is affecting people in powerful ways,” Lee said. “All over the state, I am meeting people who tell me extraordinary stories about how coverage resulted in them getting life-changing and life-saving care.”

Lee said Covered California estimates based on data from the California Department of Public Health, the federal Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (www.CoveredCA.com/news/PDFs/impact-of-health-coverage-fact-sheet.pdf) indicate that insurance coverage is helping improve care for a number of prominent health conditions, including asthma and diabetes.  

Specifically:
  • An estimated 8,700 more Californians will have access to care to better control their asthma.
  • An estimated 45,064 Californians will be diagnosed with diabetes and could begin treatment.
  • An estimated 63,922 Californians with diabetes will be able to increase their medication to control the disease.
  • An estimated 36,527 Californians will avoid catastrophic medical expenses.


While the estimates show promise, Lee said data from actual health care usage by Covered California enrollees will offer a more precise picture in the years ahead.

Lee said Covered California will soon engage analytics experts to learn more about the extent to which people with chronic conditions are getting the right care at the right time, to what extent people are using the free preventive services available under the Affordable Care Act and whether early intervention is working to help people avoid the worst effects of cancer and other life-threatening health conditions.

“The Affordable Care Act was designed not just to make health coverage more affordable, but also to improve the quality of care and ensure the right care at the right time for the best health outcomes,” Lee said.

On Friday, appearing at a press conference with San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency Director Nick Macchione and enrollees from San Diego, Lee applauded Covered California Certified Enrollment Counselors, Certified Insurance Agents and county eligibility workers in San Diego County for their good work getting people enrolled.

Lee said more than 28,000 San Diegans had enrolled between Nov. 15 and Feb. 2, and an additional 30,300 people enrolled in Medi-Cal through the end of December.

Statewide enrollment data by county for all California counties is contained in the table on the next pages.

County
Open Enrollment in 2014
(plan selections through March 31, 2014)
New Enrollment in 2015
(plan selections through Feb. 2, 2015)
Enrollees
% of Total Enrollment
Enrollees
% of Total Enrollment
Alameda
65,171
4.7%
13,266
4.6%
Alpine
82
0.0%
<10
0.0%
Amador
1,224
0.1%
269
0.1%
Butte
6,799
0.5%
1,379
0.5%
Calaveras
1,704
0.1%
330
0.1%
Colusa
995
0.1%
221
0.1%
Contra Costa
39,349
2.8%
7,790
2.7%
Del Norte
476
0.0%
181
0.1%
El Dorado
7,479
0.5%
1,456
0.5%
Fresno
23,164
1.7%
4,798
1.7%
Glenn
837
0.1%
176
0.1%
Humboldt
5,679
0.4%
1,055
0.4%
Imperial
4,401
0.3%
1,260
0.4%
Inyo
609
0.0%
128
0.0%
Kern
18,083
1.3%
4,287
1.5%
Kings
2,160
0.2%
508
0.2%
Lake
2,313
0.2%
499
0.2%
Lassen
414
0.0%
108
0.0%
Los Angeles
400,889
28.7%
81,321
28.2%
Madera
3,835
0.3%
913
0.3%
Marin
13,041
0.9%
2,349
0.8%
Mariposa
569
0.0%
131
0.0%
Mendocino
4,526
0.3%
711
0.2%
Merced
8,403
0.6%
1,737
0.6%
Modoc
256
0.0%
57
0.0%
Mono
866
0.1%
192
0.1%
Monterey
16,523
1.2%
3,020
1.0%
Napa
5,496
0.4%
1,067
0.4%
Nevada
6,098
0.4%
1,145
0.4%
Orange
131,804
9.4%
27,653
9.6%
Placer
13,048
0.9%
2,880
1.0%
Plumas
791
0.1%
148
0.1%
Riverside
69,350
5.0%
15,029
5.2%
Sacramento
43,796
3.1%
9,251
3.2%
San Benito
2,121
0.2%
318
0.1%
San Bernardino
53,623
3.8%
12,157
4.2%
San Diego
121,900
8.7%
28,394
9.8%
San Francisco
40,826
2.9%
7,002
2.4%
San Joaquin
24,202
1.7%
4,920
1.7%
San Luis Obispo
12,256
0.9%
2,123
0.7%
San Mateo
26,671
1.9%
5,081
1.8%
Santa Barbara
16,295
1.2%
3,096
1.1%
Santa Clara
64,924
4.7%
13,099
4.5%
Santa Cruz
15,071
1.1%
2,582
0.9%
Shasta
6,053
0.4%
1,441
0.5%
Sierra
90
0.0%
22
0.0%
Siskiyou
1,439
0.1%
275
0.1%
Solano
11,180
0.8%
2,583
0.9%
Sonoma
22,364
1.6%
4,361
1.5%
Stanislaus
18,504
1.3%
3,556
1.2%
Sutter
3,901
0.3%
586
0.2%
Tehama
1,723
0.1%
427
0.1%
Trinity
493
0.0%
106
0.0%
Tulare
9,832
0.7%
2,257
0.8%
Tuolumne
2,107
0.2%
409
0.1%
Ventura
33,234
2.4%
6,960
2.4%
Yolo
5,217
0.4%
1,128
0.4%
Yuba
1,666
0.1%
360
0.1%


Gabriela Parra of San Diego is among the newly insured Californians now benefiting from private coverage for herself and her family. She is one of the recently covered enrollees appearing in Covered California videos to promote open enrollment. The video can be viewed at www.youtube.com/watch?v=rN6K1zQ_vPU. Before Covered California, Parra traveled to Tijuana for routine care for her daughter, who has asthma.

“Since Covered California came into our lives, I don’t have to worry about going to Tijuana. Now I can stay here. I can go to a doctor a couple of times a week. I have a $20 copay. I go to the pharmacy, and guess what? I pay $5 for medicine,” Parra said. “Covered California is a blessing in our lives. That’s a life-changer.”

In addition, Covered California highlighted one of its new videos featuring Kim Smith, of Atwater, who wanted a colonoscopy after her husband died of colon cancer. In the video, Smith said that she was able to get a colonoscopy after she got insurance through Covered California, and the procedure determined she did have cancer.

“I consider myself to be one lucky cancer survivor. Having insurance has absolutely changed my life. If something happens to me tomorrow, I’m going to have health care, and I’ll be here for a while,” Smith says in the video, which can be seen at www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQiBqtXY04g.

Hundreds of enrollment events are planned throughout California in the final 10 days of open enrollment. Consumers can get assistance to enroll from more than 20,000 Certified Enrollment Counselors and Certified Insurance Agents who can provide free, confidential help. A list of enrollment locations and events by ZIP code can be found by visiting CoveredCA.com and clicking “Find Local Help.”

About Covered California
Covered California is the state’s marketplace for the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Covered California, in partnership with the California Department of Health Care Services, was charged with creating a new health insurance marketplace in which individuals and small businesses can get access to affordable health insurance plans. Covered California helps individuals determine whether they are eligible for premium assistance that is available on a sliding-scale basis to reduce insurance costs or whether they are eligible for low-cost or no-cost Medi-Cal. Consumers can then compare health insurance plans and choose the plan that works best for their health needs and budget. Small businesses can purchase competitively priced health insurance plans and offer their employees the ability to choose from an array of plans and may qualify for federal tax credits.


Covered California is an independent part of the state government whose job is to make the new market 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, please visit www.CoveredCA.com.