Covered California Open Enrollment Starts November 1

If recent news about the Affordable Care Act has confused you about the current and future status of Covered California, the state’s health insurance marketplace, you’re not alone.

Between multiple attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the recent move to end federal subsidy payments, and shorter (45-day) open enrollment periods in some states, it’s hard to know what’s what. However, despite various reported changes, the year should be a steady one for the state’s health care exchange.

“We know there has been a lot of debate and questions about health care,” stated Covered California spokesperson James Scullary. “We want people to know that Covered California is rock solid for 2018.”

Open enrollment starts today, November 1, and runs for three months, ending on January 31, 2018. Another important point is that financial help (e.g., tax credits and cost-sharing subsidies) is still very much available and can help with monthly premiums. According to Covered California, about 90 percent of its consumers receive some level of financial aid, and the plans can cost less than a monthly cell phone bill. Visit www.coveredca.com to check your eligibility and to see also how much financial help you can receive.

Now in its fifth year, Covered California has 11 health plans in the exchange, including Kaiser Permanente, Health Net, Molina Healthcare, Western Health Advantage, L.A. Care, and Blue Shield.

Once open enrollment starts on November 1, you can enroll online at www.coveredca.com. If you need any help, click on the “Find Help” tab. There are certified enrollers who can help in person; visit the website to find a local enrollment center or a Covered California certified insurance agent, enrollment counselor, or county human services agency. You can also get help via phone ([800] 300-1506) or live chat online.

Scullary remarked how “life can change in an instant” when you’re struck with a sudden injury, condition, or illness. With the average cost of a partial knee repair in California at more than $43,000 and the average cost of having a baby at about $21,000, you don’t want to be left uninsured.

“These are big bills to cover without any insurance,” said Scullary. “It doesn’t have to be this way. Help is out there, and open enrollment is the time to sign up for life-changing care.”

For more information about Covered California and enrolling in one of its health plans, visit www.coveredca.com.

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