New Covered California Reports Detail Successful Implementation of the ACA and Need to Continue Strengthening Our State’s Marketplace

Midway through California's open enrollment period, Covered California has released two new reports and updated enrollment data highlighting the strength of our state's marketplace, and where the state can continue to improve our health system to improve access, affordability, quality, and equity.
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For immediate release: Wednesday, December 18, 2019

For more information contact:
Rachel Linn Gish, Director of Communications, Health Access California, 916-532-2128 (cell)

NEW COVERED CALIFORNIA REPORTS DETAIL SUCCESSFUL IMPLEMENTATION OF THE ACA AND NEED TO CONTINUE STRENGTHENING OUR STATE’S MARKETPLACE

  • Covered California, our state-based exchange, releases two new reports detailing how the state has used and built on the tools of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to benefit millions of Californians.
  • Since the ACA was implemented 5 years ago, California has reduced its uninsurance rate more than any other state in nation, due to the aggressive implementation of Covered California and Medi-Cal expansions and additional state action. The state should continue its efforts to reduce the cost of care and hold the industry accountable in 2020 and beyond.
  • The enrollment deadline has been extended, and Californians now have until December 20th to sign-up for coverage beginning on January 1, 2020. Californians will have until January 31st to enroll in coverage for 2020 and take advantage of new state subsides that will lower the cost of care for nearly a million people. 
  • Governor also announces appointments to Healthy California for All Commission, to plan out path to universal coverage.

SACRAMENTO, CA – Midway through California’s open enrollment period, Covered California has released two new reports and updated enrollment data highlighting the strength of our state’s marketplace, and where the state can continue to improve our health system to improve access, affordability, quality, and equity. Strong enrollment numbers signal that California’s efforts to protect the Affordable Care Act (ACA) while also making major investments to make care more affordable, are working to cover more Californians. Since the ACA was implemented 5 years ago, California has reduced its uninsurance rate more than any other state in nation, due to the aggressive implementation of Covered California and Medi-Cal expansions. Health consumer advocates urge the Legislature and the Governor to build on these successes and further reduce premiums and out-of-pocket costs in the new year in order to get our state closer to the goal of universal coverage.

“Californians have more time to sign-up for health care and more financial help than any other state in the nation and we encourage everyone to take advantage,” said Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access California, the statewide consumer advocacy coalition. “Californians should sign up for the coverage they need now, and stay engaged in the fight to protect our progress under the Affordable Care Act, and to build toward an improved, more accountable, and universal health system for all Californians.”

Reflecting another key focus of health care consumer advocates, another report analyzes how well health plans are delivering on the goals of higher quality, lower cost, and more accessible health care system. “New tracking measures still reveal old problems in the system that prevent consumers from getting vital primary and preventative care. From flu shots to mammograms to care for acute conditions and complex conditions, most health plans are not doing the job in terms of getting Californians the care they need when they need it. More can and should be done to ensure that the entire health care system is working together to make it better for those who need care. Health Access is committed to working with Covered California and other consumer advocates to hold health plans accountable for providing care.”

While the federal government’s enrollment period has ended, Californians still have until December 20th to sign up for coverage beginning on January 1, 2020. Californians will still have until January 31st to sign up for coverage in the new year. This open enrollment period – over 15 weeks – is the longest in the nation.

“We look forward to a new year with opportunities to further expand access and affordability of care, while continuing to hold health plans accountable to better quality and equity in our health system,” said Wright. “We will keep up the work to improve our system now while also planning for even broader reforms when we have a more willing federal partner.”

Governor Newsom today also announced the remaining appointees to the Health California for All Commission which will meet in the new year to work on the development of a unified health care financing system in California with the goal of health care coverage for all Californians. Health Access Executive Director Anthony Wright was appointed to the commission in October by Assembly Speaker Rendon.

“I’m exited to work with my fellow Commissioners to build on California’s progress and plan out the path to universal coverage. The work to provide real relief to Californians today is urgent, but need not get in the way of the planning for the broader reforms that are needed, including a Medicare for all type system.” said Wright. “California is pursuing complementary paths–at once expanding access and affordability, explicitly as stepping stones to the vision of universal coverage.”

For more details on affordability assistance in the 2019-2020 state budget, see this Health Access fact sheet.

For more on California’s efforts to block the federal sabotage of the ACA, see this Health Access fact sheet.

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