January 29, 2018

With Just Three Days Left to Sign Up for Health Insurance, Covered California Bus Makes Stop at Los Angeles Med School to Promote Enrollment

  • Covered California’s “Covered in Art” tour visits Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science to unveil new mural and promote enrollment.
  • Californians who need health insurance are encouraged to sign up before midnight on Wednesday, Jan. 31, to get coverage for 2018.
  • Consumers can visit www.CoveredCA.com to explore their options and see if they qualify for financial assistance to help buy health insurance.

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Covered California hit the road again on Monday, bringing its statewide bus tour to the renowned Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science to promote health insurance enrollment and alert uninsured consumers that they have until Jan. 31 to sign up for coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

“The demand for health insurance and real, affordable health care is stronger than ever, and we’re here to help those who have not yet signed up to get over the finish line,” said Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee. “Open enrollment ends Wednesday, Jan. 31, and we don’t want to leave anyone behind.”

Covered California announced that 342,000 new consumers had signed up for health insurance through Covered California through Sunday, Jan. 21. The pace of new enrollees for the current open-enrollment period remains ahead of last year, when sign-ups did not surpass 320,000 until Jan. 23, 2017.

In addition to the new sign-ups, more than 1.2 million existing Covered California members have renewed their coverage for 2018. And the good news is that the vast majority will see a decrease in their net monthly premium payment after receiving more financial assistance.

The stop at Charles R. Drew University (CDU) is part of Covered California’s “Covered in Art” bus tour, a campaign that has taken the agency to communities throughout the state where local artists are painting murals to attract attention to enrollment centers and promote health and wellness. In all, 17 murals will be painted.

“We are gratified and humbled to be part of the ‘Covered in Art’ bus tour with Covered California,” said Dr. David M. Carlisle, president and CEO of Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science. “As a health-professions university founded to address health inequities in under-resourced communities, CDU shares the values of Covered California and the conviction that health care is an absolute right for all.”

Charles R. Drew University is a private, nonprofit, community-founded, student-centered university committed to cultivating diverse health-professional leaders who are dedicated to social justice and health equity for underserved populations through outstanding education, clinical service and community engagement. CDU is also a leader in health-disparities research with a focus on education, training, treatment and care in cancer, diabetes, cardio-metabolic disorders and HIV/AIDS.

In the five decades since the school was incorporated in the Watts-Willowbrook area of Los Angeles, CDU has graduated more than 575 physicians, 1,200 physician assistants and over 1,000 other health professionals, as well as trained over 2,700 physician specialists through its sponsored residency programs. Its School of Nursing has graduated over 1,000 nursing professionals, including more than 600 family nurse practitioners.

“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 69-by-30-foot mural at CDU will feature an image of civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. with one of King’s most famous quotes about health disparities: “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.”

Created by artist Shawn Michael Warren, the mural is designed to inspire reflection on the advancement of civil rights and Covered California’s role in achieving equal access to health care.

Warren’s artistic and visual inspirations are rooted in the traditions and philosophies of centuries-old artists. His work is influenced by artists such as Bouguereau, Sargent, Thayer, Vernet and Zorn, and through his studies of classical art at the Florence Academy of Art.

Lee said Covered California is wrapping up its fifth open-enrollment period with high interest from consumers and robust support for those who wish to enroll.

“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.”

A recent Covered California analysis found that the net monthly premiums for enrollees who receive financial help are on average 10 percent lower than what new and renewing consumers paid last year. The lower prices are a result of more financial help being available for consumers who qualify for assistance. The Affordable Care Act is designed to protect consumers by providing more premium tax credits when premiums rise.

Since 2014, more than 3 million people have purchased health insurance through Covered California, and nearly 4 million have enrolled in the state’s Medi-Cal program. Together, the gains have cut the rate of the uninsured in California from 17 percent in 2013 to a historic low of 6.8 percent as of June 2017.

“We want consumers to know we’re offering the same quality coverage we’ve offered since we opened our doors in 2014,” Lee said. Covered California is here for you today and will be here for you tomorrow.”

Consumers interested in learning more about their coverage options should go to www.CoveredCA.com where they can get help to enroll. They can explore their options and find out if they qualify for financial help by using the Shop and Compare Tool. They can also get free and confidential enrollment assistance by visiting www.coveredca.com/find-help/ and searching among 800 storefronts statewide, or more than 17,000 certified enrollers who can assist consumers in understanding their choices and enrolling, including individuals who can assist in other languages.

In addition, consumers can reach the Covered California service center by calling (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 www.CoveredCA.com.

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