SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Covered California™ and the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) announced today that applications were started for an estimated 777,000 individuals seeking coverage between Oct. 1 and Nov. 30 under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
“This has been a phenomenal experience as Californians have expressed in words and action their desire for affordable and quality health insurance coverage,” Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee said. “Enrollments and applications are surging, and we at Covered California — and our partners — are stepping up our game to meet the demand.”
Enrollment in November more than doubled that of October, with 78,377 individuals enrolled in subsidized or unsubsidized coverage through Covered California and 108,000 being determined to be likely eligible for Medi-Cal, with coverage beginning in January 2014.
For the two-month period, 109,296 individuals enrolled in Covered California health insurance plans. For the same period, 179,000 were determined to be likely eligible for Medi-Cal.
Early returns in December signal larger numbers to come.
In the week of Dec. 1-7, an additional 144,146 applications for individuals (averaging 20,590 per day) were completed, and 49,708 individuals selected plans (averaging 7,100 per day).
“We are very encouraged by the tremendous response as more and more Californians learn about the health coverage available through Covered California and Medi-Cal,” said DHCS Director Toby Douglas. “Our partnerships with the counties and others are helping lay the groundwork for a significant improvement in the health of all Californians.”
Dec. 23 is the deadline for consumers to enroll and obtain individual coverage beginning Jan. 1, 2014, but Lee pointed out that open enrollment continues through March 31 for coverage the remainder of 2014. Medi-Cal enrollment is continuous throughout the year.
Lee also reminded consumers of the many paths they can take to enroll in Covered California health insurance plans and in Medi-Cal, including in-person enrollment with assistance from thousands of trained Certified Insurance Agents, Certified Enrollment Counselors and county eligibility workers as well as self-enrollment online. Consumers can find the nearest in-person assisters on CoveredCA.com.
“We have thousands of employees and partners enthusiastically out there serving Californians,” Lee said. “They are trained to help consumers shop for and compare plans and then purchase insurance that best fits their medical needs and budget. Please use them.”
In November, 16,942 consumers ages 18 to 34 enrolled for coverage. This represents 22 percent of consumers enrolled. This age group represents about 25 percent of the state’s population. Consumers ages 45 to 64 accounted for 45,945 enrollees, or 58 percent of enrollees.
Consumer response to Covered California health insurance plans and Medi-Cal has been positive. In the first two months, two-thirds of those who completed the enrollment process said it was “easy.”
Here’s a sample of what people are saying through surveys and social media channels:
“THANK YOU! Covered California. I have signed up for a BlueShield PPO Silver 87 Plan for $79 a month and have it approved! I just paid my first month due and can finally enjoy affordable and quality healthcare starting 1/1/14 :D I love you guys. And also thank you ACA!” — Timothy (via Facebook)
“Fantastic enrollment process … many great options. What a great savings for my family!” — Anonymous (via preliminary enrollment application survey)
“LOVED IT, CAN FINALLY AFFORD INS. THANK GOD FOR OBAMA.” — Anonymous (via preliminary enrollment application survey)
“@CoveredCA worked like a charm for me. And a lower premium to boot! #easyaspie.” — AJ (via Facebook)
“I am really grateful for the US government taking care of its citizens and making our health a priority. I am grateful to President Obama for following through on this promise as it is vital to a strong and healthy nation.” — Anonymous (via preliminary enrollment application survey)
Monthly Enrollment Statistics
Oct. 1 - Nov. 30
Total number of electronic applications initiated
through Covered California
Individuals determined to be eligible
for enrollment in Covered California
(Includes individuals who are pending,
eligible and conditionally eligible
coming in through Covered California)
Enrollments in health coverage through CoveredCA.com
Subsidized enrollments (those eligible for federal premium assistance, cost-sharing reduction)
* Estimated, based on an average of 1.8 individuals per application.
** Does not include applicants for current Medi-Cal coverage through county human services agencies. This category may also include some individuals counted in other categories above.
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. With coverage starting in 2014, 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 on Covered California, please visit www..com.
About the Department of Health Care Services
The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) works to preserve and improve the physical and mental health of all Californians. DHCS provides health care services for more than 8.5 million Californians through Medi-Cal, including medical, dental, mental health, substance use treatment services and long-term services and supports. This is accomplished through an investment of approximately $70 billion annually in public funds for the care of low-income families, children, pregnant women, seniors and persons with disabilities. DHCS focuses on delivering quality, effective services primarily through the more coordinated systems of care provided by 21 Medi-Cal managed care plans located in all of California’s 58 counties. For more information about DHCS, please visit www.dhcs.ca.gov