SAN DIEGO — Covered California is launching its “Spotlight on Coverage” tour today to kick off our upcoming open-enrollment period. We will be using spotlights to both literally and figuratively shine a light on this new era of health care. You will see spotlights on iconic buildings like Los Angeles International Airport, Coit Tower and Sacramento’s Tower Bridge, to encourage the uninsured to sign up for either Covered California or Medi-Cal.
We will spotlight enrollment events to highlight how easy it is to get coverage. We will spotlight the financial help, or subsidy, that is allowing more than half of our enrollees to pay less than $100 per month to get the protection and peace of mind that comes with health care coverage.
While we have all worked together to dramatically raise awareness about the new law — and we have enrolled more than 2 million people into Covered California, with 1.3 million covered today — we still have more work to do.
We estimate there are still more than 2 million uninsured people in California who are eligible for Covered California or who qualify for Medi-Cal. Many of the uninsured have adopted what we call a “culture of coping.” They are surviving, day to day, by skipping care, splitting medications or relying on emergency services when their situation becomes too tough.
They cope. They suffer. They endure. However, they don’t have to, because there is financial help available to make health care coverage a reality for them.
New research shows that 36 percent of the uninsured say they do not know about the financial assistance available to help make health care coverage more affordable for them.
This is significant because the same research shows that the financial help, or subsidy, is the most important factor that drives people to sign up for health care coverage.
That’s why we are spotlighting these facts:
- 90 percent of Covered California consumers receive some level of financial assistance.
- More than half of our consumers, 670,000 people, pay less than $100 per month.
- 350,000 of our consumers are covered for as little as $50 or less per month.
Open enrollment begins Sunday, Nov. 1, and runs until Jan. 31. This year there will be more than 500 storefronts across the state — permanent locations established by insurance agents and community organizations where people can go to get help applying for health insurance. This help is free, confidential, in person and in language.
We have partnerships with 68 community-based Navigators who will help educate and support consumers in this new era of health care. You can visit CoveredCA.com and click “Find Local Help to Enroll” to search by ZIP code for one of our nearly 30,000 Certified Insurance Agents, Certified Enrollment Counselors and other representatives across the state.
We are also launching a new multilingual ad campaign that will reach into every corner of the state. The message behind the campaign is simple: Getting covered is about more than just health care — it’s life care. Life is unpredictable. Life is sickness and health. Life is falling and getting back up.
No matter what happens in your life, whether you’re following your dream as a self-employed entrepreneur or you’re in between jobs, Covered California will be there for you.
Click here to see examples of the new ads: www.vimeo.com/CoveredCalifornia.
If you or someone you know doesn’t have health care coverage, now is the time to act. Make sure you know about the subsidy — and the fact that the rates we negotiated with health plans actually brought premium prices down in many places. Make sure you know about the new plans and expanded coverage that will give you access to more doctors and more facilities than ever before.
Make sure you know about the significant improvements to our plans, including adult dental coverage and more benefits being accessible without being subject to a deductible.
But, most importantly, you can be part of spotlighting this opportunity! Please join us in continuing to make history by getting the word out. Online, there are easy examples of messages and images you can share on Facebook (http://hbex.coveredca.com/toolkit/PDFs/SuggestedFacebookPosts.docx) and Twitter (http://hbex.coveredca.com/toolkit/PDFs/SuggestedTweets.docx).
Or take an additional step by writing an op-ed for your local newspaper or putting an article in an organization, group or church newsletter. An example that could be modified to fit your needs is online here: http://hbex.coveredca.com/toolkit/PDFs/SuggestedMessagesForNewsletters.docx. You can follow what we’re doing on the “Spotlight on Coverage” tour. Just search #SpotlightOnCoverage on Twitter. Thanks for joining us in continuing to make history.