As Deadline Approaches, Trained Assisters Are Reaching out to Applicants to Give One-on-One Help
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — As hundreds of thousands of Californians rush to enroll for health coverage before the deadline for January coverage, Covered California is offering enrollment support through several consumer outreach programs.
“We are happy that so many Californians have expressed interest and started the application process to get covered, but we also know some consumers need help to get to the finish line,” said Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee. “As part of our goal to get as many Californians insured as possible, we are committed to using our staff and our certified representatives throughout the state to help consumers complete applications on time.”
Covered California is experiencing a surge in interest — with a Dec. 23, 2013, deadline for enrollment to get coverage beginning Jan. 1, 2014 — and is committed to completing applications started and submitted through a variety of channels. It launched an enrollment follow-up program to directly reach consumers who may need help enrolling or who have missing information on their applications.
Those who registered for enrollment in Covered California, who started the application process or who submitted incomplete applications may be contacted by the exchange’s certified partners in the field, including Certified Insurance Agents and Certified Enrollment Counselors.
Some consumers started an application and determined their eligibility for Covered California coverage but have not yet selected a plan. They may be contacted by Certified Insurance Agents, who have critical expertise to help this segment of consumers. Agents are given training in addition to state licensing requirements.
If consumers submitted incomplete paper applications with the help of an agent or counselor, those in-person assisters may contact the consumer for missing information or verification documents needed to finish the enrollment process.
Other consumers expressed an interest in getting help from certified representatives at one of the many community enrollment events throughout the state. These consumers are being contacted by Covered California partner organizations through their Certified Enrollment Counselors.
All Covered California certified representatives participating in enrollment follow-up are trained and authorized to provide assistance for the full range of exchange health insurance plans. These representatives have passed fingerprint-based criminal background checks, have completed training and passed an exam on Covered California, have disclosed any possible conflicts of interest and have signed legal contracts with Covered California to meet all federal and state privacy laws and policies for consumer interaction.
The representatives are given only the minimum contact and subsidy-eligibility information necessary for the initial follow-up. With the consumer’s consent, however, the representatives can help them input personal information for enrollment. Any information provided by the consumer to the representative cannot be used for any purpose other than to help them enroll. Help from certified Covered California representatives is always free.
If consumers don’t want to work with these representatives, they can finish their application online at their own pace. They are always welcome to call the Service Center at (800) 300-1506 for enrollment help or if they have questions.
Consumers can also cancel their application if they have found another health insurance option.
“We are very sensitive to the privacy of our enrollees and have strict regulations protecting the security of applicants,” Lee said. “Our goal is to be sure that people get the peace of mind that comes with health insurance coverage, and we don’t want any Californian to fall through the cracks and miss that chance for coverage.”
For more information on the enrollment follow-up program, go to: http://coveredcanews.blogspot.com/p/sinceopen-enrollment-began-on-october-1.html.
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.