Covered California welcomed Secretary Xavier Becerra of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to officially launch Affordable Care Act open enrollment in California and across the nation for the 2022 coverage year. Open enrollment is a time when Americans can sign up for or renew their health coverage through Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. “Obamacare”) marketplaces.
This year, consumers could benefit from more financial help than ever before.
The Increased financial help builds on the Affordable Care Act to lower monthly health costs throughout all of 2022, and potentially through 2025 with the proposed national “Build Back Better” plan, helping millions of Americans get covered and stay covered.
“The Biden-Harris Administration is investing in the most robust open-enrollment campaign to date — with record-low prices, more choices and 30 more days to pick a plan than last season,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra. “Health care should be a right and in reach for everyone. This open-enrollment season, we will get closer to achieving that goal.”
The open-enrollment period begins with a record-high 12.2 million people enrolled in the federal and state marketplaces, including 1.6 million in Covered California. The increased enrollment has been driven by the new and expanded financial help available through the American Rescue Plan, as part of the landmark federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the recession it sparked
In California, open enrollment runs through Jan. 31, 2022 and it is the one time of the year when eligible people cannot be turned away from health coverage. Twelve brand-name health insurance companies will be offered through Covered California for 2022, and all regions throughout the state will offer at least two options.
“Secretary Becerra and the Biden administration have shown that by building on the Affordable Care Act, we can go a long way toward achieving our goal of true universal coverage,” said Dr. Mark Ghaly, California Health and Human Services secretary and chair of the Covered California Board of Directors. “Californians need to see what their coverage options are and find out how affordable insurance can be at CoveredCA.com.”
A recent report found that California had reduced the rate of the uninsured to a record-low 6 percent of the population. For those who are still uninsured, the increased financial help is good news for the estimated 1.1 million Californians who are eligible for low-cost or no-cost health plans through Covered California or Medi-Cal. More than 85 percent of that group (about 940,000 people) could even get comprehensive quality health care for $0 per month. That means no monthly premium costs for brand-name health coverage.
“The Affordable Care Act is working both nationally and here in California, serving as a critical safety net for those who need coverage, and now is the time to sign up,” said Peter V. Lee, executive director of Covered California. “The amount of financial help available through 2022, and for many years to come if the Build Back Better plan is enacted into law, will cover the entire cost of many people’s monthly premiums.”
In California, more than 70 percent of consumers who qualify for financial help could choose health coverage for less than $10 per month, which is very similar to the national figure. In 2021, because many consumers chose to get richer health benefits that better meet their needs, more than half of consumers who are receiving state and federal financial help are paying less than $10 per month and 75 percent paying less than $100 for their brand-name health plan
In addition, With this new financial help, hundreds of thousands of middle-income people — both uninsured and those who purchase coverage directly from a health insurance company — can now save thousands of dollars a year on their health coverage premiums if they sign up through Covered California.
Covered California is also launching a new statewide ad campaign this month in multiple languages to encourage people to visit CoveredCA.com to quickly and easily find out if they qualify for financial help and see the health coverage options in their area. They just need to 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.
In addition to visiting CoveredCA.com, those interested in learning more about their health coverage options can also:
• Get free and confidential assistance over the phone, in a variety of languages, from a certified enroller.
• Have a certified enroller call them and help them for free.
• Call Covered California at (800) 300-1506.