Taking its “10 Years Strong” campaign to the Bay Area earlier this month, Covered California celebrated a decade of providing quality health insurance plans to people across the state. Over the past 10 years, Covered California has provided access to health insurance for millions of Californians and helped reduce the state’s uninsured rate to a historic low.
“Covered California is ’10 Years Strong,’ celebrating a decade of expanding access to quality, affordable health care for millions of people throughout the state,” said Jessica Altman, executive director of Covered California. “Open enrollment is here and now is the time to sign up for quality health insurance coverage through Covered California that will protect you and your family.”
The open-enrollment period begins with a record-high 1.7 million people enrolled in Covered California. The increased enrollment has been driven by the increased financial aid first made available through the American Rescue Plan, and extended under the Inflation Reduction Act.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Governor Gavin Newsom, and Dr. Mark Ghaly – the Secretary of California Health and Human Services and Covered California Board Chair – also joined in hailing the importance of the increased financial help that will be available to consumers throughout 2023.
“Millions of Californians now have access to affordable health coverage and now is the time to go sign up for health insurance to keep yourself and your family healthy,” said Newsom. “We won’t stop until every Californian – regardless of income or immigration status – has the health insurance they need and deserve.”
“Californians continue to benefit from the financial help and quality health coverage that Covered California offers and now is the time for those who need health insurance coverage to sign up,” Ghaly said. “Together we are increasing access to care by making health insurance coverage more affordable for Californians in every corner of our state.”
Covered California’s “10 Year’s Strong” campaign will highlight the progress made in expanding health care access by increasing the number of people with health insurance in every region over the past decade. It will also showcase continuing efforts to reach into every community in the state to make sure all Californians have access to quality health care.
Since Covered California’s first open-enrollment period in 2013, federal data shows that California’s uninsured rate fell from 17.2 percent to a record low 7.0 percent in 2021, which is the largest percentage point drop for any state in the nation over this time period.
Since first offering coverage, more than 5.2 million Californians have received health insurance coverage through Covered California for at least one month. Covered California’s has seen its overall enrollment grow by more than 40 percent.
“Covered California enters its 10th open enrollment with a proven history of being a critical resource for Californians,” Altman said. “We have opened the doors of quality health care to millions of Californians, but we still have more work to do – work that is happening now.”
New data shows that there are more than 1 million uninsured Californians who are eligible for financial help to bring the cost of coverage within reach.
Of the 1 million uninsured Californians, at least 55 percent – or about 568,000 people – could get quality coverage through Covered California or Medi-Cal at no cost. The remaining 471,000 uninsured Californians are eligible for significant financial help that will lower the cost of their monthly health insurance premiums.
Right now, 90 percent of Covered California’s enrollees qualify for financial help, and thanks to the increased and expanded financial help made available through the American Rescue Plan and extended through the Inflation Reduction Act, those consumers are saving an average of $475 per month, or an average of 80 percent of their monthly health insurance premium.
“Regardless of your income, if you need health insurance or if you’re covered directly through a health insurance company, come to Covered California to see if you can get financial help to make your insurance more affordable,” Altman said. “The increased and expanded financial help that was extended by the Inflation Reduction Act is changing lives by helping more Californians get covered and stay covered.”
Currently, two-thirds of Covered California’s consumers are eligible for comprehensive health insurance coverage at a cost of $10 or less per month.
Consumers can discover their options by visiting CoveredCA.com, where they can easily find out if they qualify for financial help and see the coverage options in their area.
All they need to do is enter their household income, ZIP code, household size and the number of people who need coverage and their ages into the calculator on Covered California’s homepage.
Open enrollment began on Nov. 1 and is the one time of the year when eligible people cannot be turned away from coverage.
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.