November 06, 2017

Covered California Rolls into San Francisco as Part of 22-stop Bus Tour to Promote Open Enrollment

  • “Covered in Art” bus tour will travel 1,300 miles and make stops in cities across California over six days to promote enrollment in health insurance.
  • Local artists will paint permanent murals at community clinics and other locations across the state to promote health and wellness and attract attention to places where Californians can enroll.
  • Californians will be encouraged to visit and check out their options because prices for some may be lower this year.

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — Covered California on Monday continued its statewide bus tour to enroll consumers in health insurance, arriving in San Francisco to feature a comprehensive marketing and outreach campaign and showcase a local muralist to promote health and wellness.

“We’ve launched this 22-stop bus tour and our statewide advertising with ads to make sure everyone in California knows there are quality health insurance options available now for 2018,” said Peter V. Lee, executive director of Covered California. “While there’s uncertainty in Washington, the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land and financial help is bringing care within reach for millions whether you live in San Francisco, Oakland, San Mateo or anywhere in the greater Bay Area.”

Open enrollment in California, which started on Nov. 1 and will run through Jan. 31, 2018, is the one time of year when anyone who needs health insurance can enroll without having to meet special qualifying conditions. Consumers should enroll by Dec. 15 for coverage starting Jan. 1, 2018. (Open enrollment in many other states will end after 45 days on Dec. 15).

The “Covered in Art” bus tour will make stops at locations throughout the state where local artists will paint murals to attract attention to enrollment locations and promote health and wellness. At least twelve murals will be painted on locations in communities across the state.

“The ‘Covered in Art’ project is a living demonstration of the fact that health care is local and that Covered California is woven into the fabric of local communities,” Lee said.

The Covered California bus is stopping at HeathRIGHT 360 on Mission Street. HealthRIGHT 360, a network of federally-qualified health centers and one of the largest providers of behavioral health services to marginalized Californians.

A 100-by-50-feet mural will be affixed to the HealthRIGHT 360 building, with the words “Health Care is a Right” emblazoned in bold, rainbow-like colors. The mural is inspired by HealthRIGHT 360’s guiding principle and famous tagline, “Health Care is a Right, Not a Privilege.” It underscores the importance of health care for all Californians, including the LGBTQ community.

“HealthRIGHT 360 was built on the principle that healthcare is a right, not a privilege. Thanks to Covered California, those words will be proudly emblazoned on our Integrated Care Center for everyone to see,” said Dr. Vitka Eisen, CEO of HealthRIGHT360. “We are grateful to Covered California not only for the gift of this righteous mural, but for continuing to connect thousands of San Franciscans to needed healthcare, which is particularly challenging in this time of deep uncertainty.”

The mural will be created by APEXER, a street artist who creates colorful abstract patterns through the use of spray paint. Part of the Gestalt Collective that engages in collaborative murals in San Francisco for social organizations and businesses, APEXER curated mural projects on Bluxome Alley, other districts of San Francisco, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art display windows in association with St. Johns Community Center.

His work has been shown extensively in the Bay Area and abroad. He was the artist in residence at the Headlands Center for the Arts in 2007, and was featured in documentaries and publications regarding the Mission District in San Francisco.

“Part of Covered California’s tradition is multi-cultural, multi-lingual marketing and outreach in diverse communities across the state to promote enrollment, and make sure everyone in the state knows there’s help to buy health insurance,” Lee said.

The bus tour – which began in Southern California – will now travel to Santa Cruz before traveling to Salinas, San Jose and Oakland. All told, the Covered California bus will travel more than 1,300 miles.

“Covered California is not standing still,” Lee said. “For the first time, consumers can find resources on our website and even enroll on their cell phones. In addition, we have new tools that make it easier to shop and easier to find resources in other languages.”

Research commissioned by Covered California shows that many people still don’t know there’s financial help to buy health insurance, and those concerned about the future of health exchanges are less inclined to enroll. But Lee said Covered California is solid for 2018.

The art tour is being supplemented by a new statewide advertising campaign, with the message “Life can change in an instant,” to drive home the message that anyone can find themselves suddenly needing health insurance. The advertising campaign, which includes ads in English, Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean and Vietnamese, can be viewed here:

“We want consumers to know we’re offering the same quality coverage we’ve offered since we opened our doors in 2014,” Lee said. “Don’t let the distant thunder in Washington keep you from getting the financial help available to buy health insurance. Covered California is here for you today and will be here for you tomorrow.”

Covered California’s open enrollment period will continue through Jan. 31, 2018. While open enrollment continues through the end of January, consumers should sign up by Dec. 15 to have coverage starting January of 2018. Consumers interested in learning more about their options should go to where they can shop to explore their options or get free in-person assistance in the area where they live. In addition, consumers can call the Covered California service center to enroll at (800) 300-1506.

About Covered California
Covered California is the state’s health insurance marketplace, where Californians can find affordable, high-quality insurance from top insurance companies. Covered California is the only place where individuals who qualify can get financial assistance on a sliding scale to reduce premium costs. Consumers can then compare health insurance plans and choose the plan that works best for their health needs and budget. Depending on their income, some consumers may qualify for the low-cost or no-cost Medi-Cal program.

Covered California is an independent part of the state government whose job is to make the health insurance marketplace work for California’s consumers. It is overseen by a five-member board appointed by the governor and the legislature. For more information about Covered California, please visit

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