Observer Group Newspapers of Southern California, Inc., Via Covered California News
The “Great Resignation” trend is upon us, with millions of workers leaving their steady jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic to follow their passions and start new careers. One woman who joined these ranks last year is La Kesha Wash, who left her job in the San Francisco Bay Area to launch an interior design company, Meticulous Designs.
Wash always had a love for interior design and had taken courses at the San Francisco Art Institute and community colleges, but she couldn’t do the required internships while raising two children and working full-time.
“Now that my kids are grown, I can do whatever I want to do,” said Wash. “I took that leap of faith, resigned from my job with the City of Alameda, took out some 401K savings, and started Meticulous Designs.”
Wash needed to be budget conscious since she had just started her business last year. She also lost her health insurance when she left her former job and needed to find affordable, quality health coverage because she has a pre-existing condition and is considered a high cancer risk.
Thanks to the financial help offered to Californians through the Biden-Harris administration’s American Rescue Plan, Wash was able to lower her monthly health care costs and is seeing major saving of about $600 per month on her health plan premiums.
“I’m now paying $82 a month for the same Kaiser plan I had before, with the same doctors,” said Wash. “And these are savings I can put into my business. It’s a blessing.”
Wash has created a unique line of reupholstered antique chairs with her “Timeless Melanin” collection that features images of African American icons like Billie Holiday, Josephine Baker, Dorothy Dandridge, Nina Simone, and Lena Horne. With this collection, she wants to spotlight beautiful African American entertainers who have paved the way for others and hopes to continue to stay happy – and healthy – as she builds her business.
Since being enacted last year, the federal American Rescue Plan has helped 1.5 million Californians like Wash dramatically lower their monthly health care costs. The American Rescue Plan built on the Affordable Care Act (also known as “Obamacare”) in significant ways, reducing consumer
monthly premiums costs to record lows and expanding eligibility for premium savings to middle-income individuals and families.
Covered California Special Enrollment Underway
Covered California is offering special enrollment right now to anyone like Wash, who lost her health coverage when she left her former job, and is encouraging consumers to take advantage of the financial help still being provided by the American Rescue Plan.
Although Covered California’s open-enrollment period ended on Jan. 31, there are many life changes that allow Californians to still get health coverage The most common qualifying life events are losing health coverage, getting married, having a baby, and permanently moving to or within California. There are also other qualifying life events due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the American Rescue Plan, and you can find a full list of qualifying life events here.
To explore your health coverage options and see what financial help is available, you can:
• Visit Covered California’s online Shop and Compare Tool.
• Get assistance from a certified enroller in your local area at https://www.coveredca.com/support/contact-us/.
• Call Covered California at (800) 300-1506.
You can also go to CoveredCA.com to find out whether you’re eligible for no-cost of low-cost Medi-Cal health plans. Medi-Cal enrollment is available year-round, and the coverage will begin the day after a person signs up.
La Kesha Wash of Meticulous Designs with chairs from her “Timeless Melanin” collection.