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Five reasons to Enroll in Covered California

As a Certified Enrollment Counselor, 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 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.

Reason No. 1:  You have until January 31 to enroll. The Covered California open enrollment period goes until January 31, 2020. Although Covered California’s open enrollment is longer than the enrollment period for the federal exchange, the deadline is coming right up.

Reason 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.

Reason No. 3 You may be eligible for subsidies through Covered California. Covered California shares that 90 percent 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.

Reason No. 4: There’s a new penalty in California for not being insured. Beginning January 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, and the fine for a family not having insurance in 2020 could be $2,000 or more. 

Reason 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 more 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, bi-lingual Covered California enrollment support for families and individuals.