Covered California Urges San Diegans to Enroll by April 30 to Get New Savings on Lower Insurance Premiums Provided by the American Rescue Plan
- The American Rescue Plan provides new and expanded financial help that will dramatically lower health care premiums for people who purchase health insurance through Covered California.
- Nearly 200,000 San Diegans, including the uninsured and people enrolled directly through a health insurance carrier, stand to benefit from the new financial help that is now available.
- In order to maximize their savings, San Diegans need to enroll before the end of this month so they can begin benefitting from the new law on May 1.
- Many people will be able to get a high-quality plan for as little as $1 per month, while currently insured consumers could save up to $700 per month on their coverage if they sign up through Covered California.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Covered California announced that San Diegans have until April 30 to sign up for health insurance coverage, and start benefitting from new financial help available through the American Rescue Plan as early as May 1st. The landmark law provides new and increased federal tax credits that will lower health care premiums for an estimated 200,000 people in the region.
“The new and expanded financial help provided by the American Rescue Plan can help more San Diegans get covered and stay covered by lowering their premiums and putting money back into their pockets,” said Peter V. Lee, executive director of Covered California. “The American Rescue Plan provides the most significant consumer cost savings since the Affordable Care Act began, but in order for many San Diegans to make the most of that savings, they need to act before the month ends.”
Which Californians benefit from the American Rescue Plan?
Covered California estimates the new financial assistance can directly help 2.5 million Californians – including nearly 200,000 people in San Diego – by lowering their monthly premium to levels never seen before. The new law stands to benefit the following groups of people:
- Uninsured San Diegans – New data shows that an estimated 72,000 San Diegans are uninsured and eligible for health insurance coverage through Covered California, with an additional 81,000 eligible for no-cost Medi-Cal. Under the American Rescue Plan most of those eligible for Covered California would be able to get a high-quality plan from a trusted name-brand company – such as Blue Shield of California, Health Net, Kaiser Permanente, Molina Healthcare and Sharp Health Plan – for as little as $1 per month, or a plan that offers richer benefits for less than $100 per month (see Figure 1: Premiums are Lower than Ever for the Uninsured).
Figure 1: Premiums are Lower than Ever for the Uninsured
- San Diegans insured directly through a health insurance company – Nearly 23,000 San Diegans are insured directly through a health insurance company, in what is referred to as “off-exchange” coverage and do not receive any financial help. The American Rescue Plan ensures that everyone eligible will pay no more than 8.5 percent of their household income on their health care premiums if they are enrolled in an Affordable Care Act Marketplace like Covered California. The new and expanded subsidies mean that many consumers will be able save hundreds of dollars per month – or thousands of dollars between May and the end of 2022 – if they switch and get their insurance through Covered California (see Figure 2: Off-Exchange Consumers Save by Switching to Covered California).
Figure 2: Off-Exchange Consumers Save by Switching to Covered California
- San Diegans Enrolled in Covered California – The new law will also help about 100,000 San Diegans currently enrolled through Covered California. An analysis shows that Covered California consumers statewide will see their net premiums decrease by an average of $180 per household per month. Existing consumers do not need to take any action since Covered California will automatically apply the savings to their accounts. They will see lower bills starting in May (see Figure 3: Covered California Enrollees Will See Lower Premiums).
Figure 3: Covered California Enrollees Will See Lower Premiums
Covered California estimates the American Rescue Plan will put at least $3 billion into consumers’ pockets in the form of lower premiums – providing a boost to the state’s economy. The new money will help eligible consumers save thousands of dollars between now and the end of 2022, when the benefits are currently set to expire, though Congress will be taking up making these changes permanent in the coming weeks.
Rep. Scott Peters (D-San Diego) has long been a champion of making health care coverage more affordable and more accessible to San Diegans. Peters helped the American Rescue Plan become law and he wants to make sure San Diegans take action to benefit from the new financial help that is now available.
“The financial support available now through the American Rescue Plan will bring the cost of coverage within reach for more Californians and more Americans,” Rep. Peters said. “These savings can make a difference for San Diegans as they keep up with day-to-day living expenses – like food and transportation – but they also provide peace of mind for those who have had to make difficult choices between their health and their livelihoods for far too long.”
In addition, the American Rescue Plan will maximize financial help to those who received unemployment insurance benefits in 2021. Under the new law, Californians who received unemployment insurance benefits in 2021 – **regardless of their actual income in 2021 – **will be eligible for the richest possible coverage from brand-name health plans that will cost only $1 per month. Covered California is currently working to implement this benefit into its enrollment and consumer cost-comparison systems. While those changes are expected to be implemented in July or August, consumers that are enrolled or sign-up before that time will receive the lower premium retroactive to when their coverage commenced. An estimated 10 percent of current Covered California enrollees would be eligible for this added benefit, further reducing their costs and putting money back into their pockets. These individuals will see premium reductions in May based on the general financial help provided under the American Rescue Plan, and additional savings when the new benefits related to unemployment insurance are implemented this summer.
“Do not miss out, the sooner you sign up, the sooner you can start saving and be covered,” Lee said. “We don’t want any eligible San Diegan to be uninsured or leave money on the table.”
**Consumers Can Find Out In Minutes How Much They Can Save **
Covered California is encouraging San Diegans to check if they are eligible for lower premiums due to the American Rescue Plan. Consumers can easily see exactly how they can benefit from the new law at CoveredCA.com by entering their ZIP code, household income and the ages of the people in the household to see how low their premiums can be and the health insurance options in their area.
Those interested in learning more about their coverage options can also:
- Visit www.CoveredCA.com.
- Through the website, consumers can find local insurance agents or individuals in “navigator” organizations who provide free and confidential assistance over the phone or in person, in a variety of languages.
- If a consumer wants a certified enroller to call them – Covered California will have someone reach out to the consumer to 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.