For Immediate Release: Tuesday, April 14, 2020
Rachel Linn Gish, Director of Communications, Health Access California, firstname.lastname@example.org, 916-532-2128 (cell)
Anthony Wright, Executive Director, Health Access California, email@example.com, 916-870-4782 (cell)
COVERED CALIFORNIA ENROLLMENTS SURGE DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC
- Nearly 60,000 California have signed up for coverage in Covered California during the special enrollment period announced for COVID-19 pandemic
- Surge highlights need for health care options for those losing employer-sponsored coverage or seeing a reduction in income, including Covered California and Medi-Cal
- Federal & state subsides only available in Covered California make coverage more affordable than ever for many
SACRAMENTO—New enrollment numbers released today by 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.
“With 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,” said Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access California, the statewide health care consumer advocacy coalition.
“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,” continued Wright. “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,” said Wright. “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.”
Learn more about Californians’ coverage options and protections here: https://health-access.org/covid-19-resources-and-information/