Covered California Continues to See Strong Consumer Interest in Quality Health Care Coverage During the COVID-19 Pandemic
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Covered California announced on Tuesday that more than 84,000 people had enrolled in health care coverage since the exchange announced a special-enrollment period in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The pace of sign-ups during this five-week period has been more than 2.5 times the level that Covered California saw during the same period in 2019.
“During this challenging time, Covered California continues to see tremendous interest, with thousands of people signing up for quality health care coverage each day,” said Peter V. Lee, executive director of Covered California. “We want to remind consumers that if they lost their health insurance, or were uninsured when this crisis began, there is a path to coverage for them through either Covered California or Medi-Cal.”
The enrollment data covers the period from March 20, when Covered California opened the health insurance exchange to any eligible uninsured individuals who need health care coverage amid the COVID-19 emergency, through April 24. Anyone who is uninsured and meets Covered California’s eligibility requirements, which are similar to those in place during the annual open-enrollment period, can sign up for coverage through June 30.
During this time, Covered California has also seen tremendous consumer interest online, with nearly 1.4 million new users visiting CoveredCA.com, which is almost twice the number of visits seen during the same time period last year. There were also more than 208,000 unique visits to Covered California’s Medi-Cal page, which is nearly a 50 percent increase over the same time period last year.
“In many ways, the pandemic has made clear the crucial importance of the Affordable Care Act’s coverage expansions,” Lee said. “Over the years, California’s leaders have put a system in place that protects Californians and provides them with a way to get the care they need when they need it the most.”
Helping Consumers Understand Their Options
Covered California is also sending out 11.6 million emails to consumers. The emails encourage people to use Covered California to find out if they are eligible for financial assistance to help pay for the cost of their health care coverage. In addition, the email notes that all Covered California health plans offer a telehealth option, where consumers can get care without needing to visit a provider in person, and it helps direct tells them on how they can enroll in either Covered California or Medi-Cal.
Signing Up for Health Care Coverage
Consumers can easily enroll through CoveredCA.com and find out whether they are eligible for financial help through Covered California or if they are eligible for no-cost or low-cost coverage through Medi-Cal. People who sign up through Covered California will have their coverage begin on the first day of the following month. Those eligible for Medi-Cal can have coverage that is effective retroactively to the first day of the month from when they submitted their application.
In addition to enrolling online, consumers who need health care coverage can visit Covered California’s Find Help page to get assistance over the phone from one of Covered California’s thousands of Certified Insurance Agents. The “Help on Demand” feature allows consumers to get a call back from a certified enroller.
“Health insurance is only a phone call away, and consumers can get free and confidential assistance from one of Covered California’s trained professionals while remaining safe and protecting themselves and their families,” Lee said.
Consumers can easily find out if they are eligible for Covered California or Medi-Cal, and see which plans are available in their area, by using the Shop and Compare Tool and entering their ZIP code, household income and the ages of those who need coverage.
Those interested in learning more about their coverage options can also:
- Get free and confidential assistance over the phone, in a variety of languages, from a certified enroller.
- Have a certified enroller call them and help them for free.
- Call Covered California 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 www.CoveredCA.com.