For immediate release: Monday, November 1, 2021
Contact:Rachel Linn Gish, Director of Communications, Health Access California, 916-532-2128 (cell)
AS COVERED CALIFORNIA STARTS OPEN ENROLLMENT TODAY, MANY CALIFORNIANS WILL GET COVERAGE WITH $0 PREMIUMS
Launch of Open Enrollment in Covered California with Both State and Federal Financial Help Could Mean Nearly Universal Coverage for Californians Buying Their Own Health Coverage
- The Biden-Harris American Rescue Plan (ARP), along with state budget investments championed by Health Access, will mean lowest premiums ever for Californians in Covered California.
- A $1 premium tax credit, a priority for Health Access and other health advocates, passed in the 2021 state budget, leading to 700,000 Covered California enrollees seeing true zero premium coverage beginning January 1, 2022.
- The newly announced Build Back Better framework will extend ARP subsides through 2025, continuing the cap on health coverage premiums to 8.5% of income, while advocates will continue to work to make this federal help permanent, and push for further cost-sharing reductions.
SACRAMENTO, CA – Today marks the first day of the 2021-22 open enrollment period for Covered California, kicking off the most affordable coverage year ever for Californians purchasing care on their own. State efforts, coupled with historic federal investments passed this year, will mean premium help for almost all of the 1.6 million Californians enrolled in Covered California, and even more reason for the 1.1 million remaining eligible uninsured to get covered.
Starting today, November 1, Californians will have a full 3 months to enroll in or change their coverage plan. Many will see savings in their current plans, but Californians could save more by shopping and switching.
“California took a leadership role in implementing and improving on the Affordable Care Act, and now along with federal help passed by the Biden-Harris Administration, hundreds of thousands of families are getting more affordable health coverage options. We encourage all Californians—whether enrolled in Covered California, in other individual coverage, and especially if uninsured—to look at these new options for you and your family. Even if you have checked before, you should look at your Covered California options again. With all the new help available, you may be happily surprised,” said Anthony Wright, executive director, Health Access California, the statewide health care consumer advocacy coalition.
Health Access and other health consumer organizations spearheaded the advocacy for a $20 million 2021-2022 state budget investment to finally realize the goal of true zero premium coverage for a majority of Covered California enrollees. Starting on January 1, 2022, 700,000 current Covered California enrollees will see their plans drop to $0 per month and 85% of the 1.1 million eligible remaining uninsured will be able to get coverage for that price if they enroll through Covered California.
“Thanks to years of advocacy in California and support from legislators and Governor Newsom, our state is leading the way in making coverage more affordable for our state’s residents and families. Hundreds of thousands of Californians will soon not have any financial barrier to ensure they can keep their coverage,” said Diana Douglas, policy and legislative affairs manager for Health Access California.
The Biden-Harris American Rescue Plan passed earlier this year, included historic affordability help to almost all Covered California enrollees ensuring that nobody had to spend more than 8.5% of their income for coverage, effectively eliminating all “affordability cliffs” in the ACA marketplaces. The current framework of the federal Build Back Better plan extends this financial assistance through 2025.
“The need for additional federal subsidies for health coverage is especially urgent in our high-cost-of-living state. Californians greatly appreciate the additional affordability assistance in the pending Build Back Better plan, and it’s vital that these subsidies are made permanent. Families need the peace of mind to know that their premiums won’t spike in a few years,” said Wright.
Visit www.coveredca.com to shop and compare plans, and either enroll or switch your current coverage. Open enrollment ends January 31, 2022.