New enrollment numbers from Covered California show that sign-ups during the new special enrollment period set up during the COVID-19 pandemic have surged. Nearly 60,000 Californians have enrolled in the state’s health exchange between March 20 and April 10. This reflects a tripling of sign-ups compared to the same period last year. The new enrollment period will last until June 30 and is open to everyone for any reason.
The surge in enrollment in California’s exchange highlights the need for health care options for those losing their jobs and employer-based coverage or seeing a decrease in income during the COVID-19 pandemic.
California now offers both federal and state subsides to middle-income individuals (earning up to $75,000/year) and families (of four earning up to $150,000/year) which makes care more affordable than ever before for many. California’s efforts to encourage enrollment is a marked difference from the federal ACA exchanges which the Trump Administration has refused to re-open.
Due to so many losing hours, income, employment, and with that health coverage, we are glad Covered California is open to help connect Californians with both private plans and public programs like Medi-Cal.
While tens of thousands have taken advantage of the new open enrollment period, projections suggest that ultimately hundreds of thousands of Californians may be newly eligible to get financial assistance to afford coverage through Covered California. Many may be surprised at the premium reductions from new state subsidies this year, on top of federal financial assistance already available through the Affordable Care Act.
Those already in Covered California but whose income has changed should take advantage of the opportunity to re-evaluate the subsidies they may be eligible for, or to change to a different plan that might be more appropriate for their current circumstance. Many may find they now qualify for no-cost Medi-Cal coverage, which is a lifeline for many who lost income and need coverage and care in the middle of this pandemic.
Find out more about signing up for coverage here: www.CoveredCA.com.