SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Covered California™ and the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) announced today that from Oct. 1, 2013, to Jan. 31, 2014, under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, 51,524 consumers in nine Central Valley counties enrolled in subsidized and non-subsidized Covered California health insurance plans. The new total represents a 56 percent increase from the 33,133 enrollments recorded through Dec. 31, 2013.
The Central Valley counties of San Joaquin, Kern, Stanislaus, Merced, Mariposa, Tulare, Fresno, Kings and Madera represent about 7 percent of the statewide enrollment thus far. The local total includes 46,908 consumers eligible for financial subsidies. These counties encompass Covered California pricing regions 10, 11 and 14.
The improving pace of enrollments in the Central Valley is due in part to enhanced aspects of Covered California’s customer service. The agency has increased staff to answer consumer calls, added phone lines, improved its website efficiency, expanded its live Web chat function and upgraded its Spanish-language Web pages.
Covered California recently launched a targeted, grassroots, on-the-ground strategy in collaboration with its community partners to create face-to-face opportunities for enrollment, particularly in Latino communities in the Central Valley and the San Joaquin Valley (Stockton/Modesto and Fresno/Bakersfield).
Since December, the exchange has nearly doubled its advertising campaign targeting Spanish- and English-speaking Latinos, improved its Spanish-language website and informational materials, and increased the number of bilingual Certified Enrollment Counselors and Service Center representatives.
For the four-month period, which is two-thirds of the open-enrollment period for 2014 coverage, 728,410 consumers enrolled in plans statewide.
Tables and graphics showing enrollment by metal tier and health insurance plan in each region are available online at www.CoveredCA.com/news/PDFs/JanRegionalEnrollmentTables.pdf and www.CoveredCA.com/news/PDFs/jan-regionals.pdf.
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 approximately 9.4 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 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.