Healthy Tahoe: Need insurance? Virtual services have you covered
State health insurance exchanges, like Covered California and Nevada Health Link, are now in open enrollment – the time when we can sign up for coverage for the year ahead. It’s always a good idea to make sure you and your family have health insurance, and with the current surge of COVID-19, you don’t want to be uncovered. Luckily, there are many options for families and individuals to enroll virtually, including free, bi-lingual enrollment services offered here in our community.
Open enrollment for Covered California is happening now through January 31, 2021. Covered California health plans will help patients cover costs that arise from coronavirus treatment or hospitalization. At this time, all medically needed COVID-19 screening and testing are free of charge. This includes telehealth or doctor’s office visits, as well as network emergency room or urgent care visits for the purpose of screening and testing for COVID-19.
Barton and health care systems around the globe are taking steps to keep healthcare workers and patients safe, while making it easier to access care during the pandemic. Health plans available through Covered California provide telehealth options, giving folks the ability to connect with a health care professional by phone, video, or online messaging without having to personally visit a doctor’s office or hospital. These virtual services are used by enrollment counselors like me to meet with people to answer their questions and help them enroll in a health insurance plan.
If you don’t purchase a health insurance plan during open enrollment, you can only sign up later if you experience a major life event, like having a new baby, getting married or divorced, losing your job, or aging-off your parent’s plan. What’s more is those who sign up through Covered California may find they are eligible for no-cost or low-cost coverage through Medi-Cal.
If you need to enroll in a plan, Barton Health has you covered. Call 530.600.1984 or visit bartonhealth.org/enroll to schedule an appointment for free enrollment counseling in Spanish or English.
Marco Huerta is a certified enrollment counselor at Barton Health. This is his seventh year providing free, bi-lingual Covered California enrollment support for families and individuals.
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