When one journey ends, another begins.
Ten days ago, Covered California embarked on a statewide bus tour to ring in the start of open enrollment and to make sure our message of affordable, accessible health care coverage reached every corner of the state.
We traveled more than 2,300 miles, from Redding to San Diego. On the bus we had representatives of the California Department of Health Care Services, community clinics, insurance agents and consumer advocacy groups. We all worked hard but were energized and inspired by the people we met as we crossed the state. We stopped in more than 30 cities along the way and met thousands of people. Many of them were already enrolled in Covered California, and they wanted to share their emotional stories of what having health care coverage has meant in their lives.
We watched the powerful moment when some people got covered for the first time in their lives. Rubicela and Ranulfo of Boyle Heights never had health insurance before. On the day open enrollment started, they sat down with a Certified Enrollment Counselor named Jessica at an AltaMed event in Los Angeles and quickly enrolled in their first health insurance plan.
|Rubicela and Ranulfo get health insurance|
for the first time
We had hundreds of people taking selfies with our bus, getting aboard to take a look at our mobile headquarters, and taking “I’m In” or “Tengo un Plan” buttons and resource guides to share with their friends.
We estimate there are roughly 3.2 million Californians who still do not have health insurance and can benefit from financial support through Covered California or Medi-Cal. The real job of making sure we leave no one behind is now being taken up in communities, churches, schools and workplaces across California.
|City of Refuge, Gardena|
We need community partners like Crenshaw Health, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, 2-1-1 San Diego, local NAACP chapters, Sacramento Covered, California LGBT Health and Human Services Network, and the Fresno and Riverside Black Chambers of Commerce, which all stood with us on the tour. We need the Certified Insurance Agents, Certified Enrollment Counselors and county eligibility workers who have pledged to enroll and educate Californians.
She was thrilled to know that come January that is going to change. We want them all to be able to say “I’m In.”
As part of our open-enrollment campaign this year, we’re asking everyone to take action in the coming months and reach out to their friends and neighbors to let them know affordable coverage is now within reach. Call a family member; speak to a friend or coworker; ask your pastor to make remarks before this Sunday’s service. If you’re already insured — whether through Covered California or through any source of coverage — and willing to share a selfie of yourself on Facebook or Instagram, you can create and share an “i’M iN” badge in English or Spanish.
You can also take a look at our “Tell a Friend” page on CoveredCA.com for other ways you can help share with others why you want to be part of history by getting the word out. Making sure we leave no one behind starts now, and it starts with you. Together we can make California a healthier and more just place for all of its residents.
Thank you to everyone involved in the bus tour, but more importantly thank you to the thousands across California in every community who are part of making history and helping millions of Californians say “I’m In.”