Enrollment and Options for Healthcare Coverage in California

Enrollment for Private Insurance Continues Through March 2014
Audio: 
Andrew D. Hyman, Senior Program Officer, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

(Washington, DC, Wednesday, January 29, 2014) - Starting this year, there are new health insurance options available to millions of Americans as part of the new health reform law. Many residents in California are newly eligible for Medicaid coverage or for federal subsidies to help purchase coverage on their own through the marketplace.

The deadline for open enrollment is March 31, but the sooner people review their options and pick an insurance plan, the sooner they have coverage and can get the care they need.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a nonpartisan resource, is helping to inform residents of California about their coverage options.

  • California is running a ‚Äústate-based health benefit exchange‚ÄĚ which means they are running everything on their own.
  • The state is expanding Medicaid coverage to low-income adults.
  • In California consumers enroll by going to their health reform website, which is: https://www.coveredca.com/.
  • Enrollment for private insurance in 2014 continues through March 31. Policies purchased by the 15th of the month will be effective the first day of the following month.
  • As of December 23, the Los Angeles Times reported that over 400,000 people had signed up for insurance ahead of the enrollment deadline.
  • The percentage of third-month target reached as of December 28 was 82 percent.
  • Specially trained counselors, called Navigators, can talk to consumers face-to-face or over the phone, and help them find and apply for the right coverage for themselves and their families.
  • There is still time to enroll. People have until March 31 to buy a plan in the new health insurance marketplaces. Those who sign up by Feb. 15 will have coverage that begins March 1.
  • Regardless if people sign up on Feb. 15 or March 31, it is important to sign up sooner rather than later so you can take advantage of all the plan benefits that are covered including doctor visits, hospitalizations, prescriptions, preventive care, and more.
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