State of the Art Center Will Help with Historic Mission of Enrolling Californians in Affordable Health Care
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Covered California announced today it has partnered with Contra Costa County to manage one of three service centers. Contra Costa will operate a county-based service center which will handle calls and questions from Californians throughout the state. The center in Contra Costa county will be designed to help Californians understand the new benefits available through the Affordable Care Act and help consumers with on-line purchasing of Covered California health insurance products. Other center locations to be staffed by State of California employees, will be announced in the coming months. All centers will be fully operational for open enrollment this fall, in advance of the new coverage that starts January 1, 2014.
“While all Californians will benefit, more than 5.3 million will be eligible for coverage through Covered California under the historic federal Affordable Care Act starting in2014, and half of those will be eligible for financial support from the federal government,” said Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee. “We need to have skilled customer care representatives helping individuals and small employers sort through the ways they can benefit from the federal support and understand the new rules. Contra Costa County is a great partner to join us in this historic mission because of their long history of providing first-class service through a call center environment.”
Using state-of-the art technology, the center will offer comprehensive, integrated and streamlined services and employ approximately 200 local residents. County staff will be trained to be expert resources and answer questions from consumers, refer consumers to resources, or offer Web-based “chat” advice.
All three service centers will include agents that speak English and Spanish, as well as a mix of staff who speak some of California’s most common languages such as Cantonese and Vietnamese. In addition, the service centers will be able to refer other languages to a third party language telephone line service.
“Skilled and responsive experts will be critical to achieving our goal of maximizing enrollment of eligible individuals and small businesses and reducing the number of uninsured Californians,” said Diana Dooley, Board Chair of Covered California. “We appreciate the opportunity to partner with Contra Costa County in this critically important mission.”
About Covered California
California was the first state to create a health benefit exchange following the passage of federal health care reform. Covered California is charged with creating a new insurance marketplace in which individuals and small businesses can get access to health insurance. With coverage starting in 2014, Covered California will help individuals compare and choose a health plan that works best for their health needs and budget. Financial help will be available from the federal government to help lower costs for people who qualify on a sliding scale. Small businesses will be able to purchase competitively priced health 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 Legislature.
For more information on Covered California, please visit www.CoveredCA.com.
The following is a statement from Federal Glover, Chair of the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors:
“We're glad that the state recognizes Contra Costa's central location makes it an ideal site for the call center with equal access to the Bay Area, Northern California and the Central Valley. The county's linguistically diverse work force will be able to play an important role in bringing health care to all Californians."