With 2.1 million Californians uninsured, executive director of Covered California, Peter Lee, is encouraging those in the Golden State to sign up for health care during their annual enrollment period.
The enrollment period began in November and runs through the end of January for the year 2021. Those who are currently uninsured can also enroll for coverage that can start on December 1st of this year. This may be especially helpful for those who have lost their job and may be in need of coverage.
“You don’t want to go any time without insurance,” said Lee. “A big date to know is December 15th. You need to sign up by December 15th to have coverage that starts January 1. And sadly, we’ve all learned with the COVID pandemic, you can’t predict what’s going to happen. Going any time with insurance is a bad idea.”
The organization is mailing out face masks to two million Californians in an effort to promote the open enrollment period.
“We’re at a time where wearing a mask is the right thing to do to protect your family, to protect your community,” he said of the push. “But meanwhile, these masks have a message which is: Don’t only wear a mask, get insured. And if you know someone that’s uninsured, just like you want to help them stay safe from COVID, have them stay safe from going without insurance and let them get the word out.”
The website allows people to shop and compare plans and Lee said in “three minutes” one can find out how much financial help they may be able to receive based on their age, zip code, income and family size.
“Ninety percent of the people that are enrolled through Covered California get financial help,” expanded Lee. “On average, that is lowering what would have been an $800 premium to less than $200. A subsidy of over $600 on average per household. That’s a huge savings. Others may find out they’re eligible for Medical and then it’s free coverage. And we know that people think, ‘Oh, I checked a few years ago — I couldn't afford it.’ People have to check again. You’ve got to go on and check again.”
There are also no-cost tools available for help with signing up for coverage using local insurance agents across the state that can be found on the Covered California site.
“They’ve got one job, which is similar to our job: Help you get the best plan that meets your needs,” said Lee.
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