Five reasons to enroll in Covered California (Opinion)
Certified Enrollment Counselor, Barton Health
As a certified enrollment counselor at Barton Health, I understand that navigating Covered California and selecting a plan can be frustrating while enrolling in health insurance through the exchange.
Luckily, healthcare systems across the country are dispatching people like me to make it easier for families and individuals to enroll in a health care plan.
Here are my top five reasons to not delay with Covered California’s open enrollment period, and make sure you, your family and your friends have coverage through 2020.
No. 1: You have until Jan. 31 to enroll. The Covered California open enrollment period lasts until Jan. 31. Although Covered California’s open enrollment is longer than the enrollment period for the federal exchange, the deadline is coming up.
No. 2: There are options to choose from. Depending on where you live in the state, there are 11 insurers participating, with each company offering plans at four different coverage levels.
No. 3: You may be eligible for subsidies. Covered California shares that 90% of its consumers are eligible for financial assistance to help pay for their insurance coverage. Californians who qualify for other public health coverage (like Medi-Cal) can be eligible for a tax credit and subsidies to help reduce the cost of their monthly premiums and lower out-of-pocket costs.
No. 4: There’s a new penalty in California for not being insured. Beginning Jan. 1, 2020, a new law requires all California residents to have health insurance or pay a penalty. This is separate from the “zeroed out” federal penalty. The fine for a family not having insurance in 2020 could be $2,000 or more.
No. 5: Free enrollment counseling is available in your community. Barton offers free enrollment support for Covered California in Spanish and English. We invite you to make an appointment to have your questions answered, and get enrolled for 2020.
For information, visit bartonhealth.org/enroll or call 530-600-1984 to schedule an appointment.
When it comes to enrolling in a health insurance plan, Barton has you covered. Besides avoiding state and federal penalties for not having health insurance, we want our community to avoid the penalizations of not catching a disease in time, or choosing to go without insurance and then receiving a costly hospital bill that could have been offset by Covered California.
Marco Huerta is a certified enrollment counselor at Barton Health. This is his sixth year providing free, bilingual Covered California enrollment support for families and individuals.