Health & Medicine

Covered California extends open enrollment deadline for health insurance to Dec. 21

This new app can get a doctor to your house in 2 hours

Sacramento area doctors are making house calls again through a mobile app called Heal, which can have a physician in a patient’s home within two hours. Dr. Janet O’Brien visits with patient Sarah Gonzalez on Monday, August 27, 2018, in Roseville.
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Sacramento area doctors are making house calls again through a mobile app called Heal, which can have a physician in a patient’s home within two hours. Dr. Janet O’Brien visits with patient Sarah Gonzalez on Monday, August 27, 2018, in Roseville.

Covered California announced Saturday it has extended the deadline to enroll in health insurance from Dec. 15 to Dec. 21. Those who enroll by Dec. 21 will have access to coverage starting Jan. 1, according to Covered California.

Californians can enroll in healthcare plans through Jan. 15, but for those who enroll between Dec. 21 and Jan. 15, coverage will begin Feb. 1, said Covered California in a press release.

Covered California is California’s healthcare marketplace, and those who qualify can receive financial help to lower their monthly premiums.

Covered California is extending the deadline because of a surge of interest over the past week, with 58,000 consumers enrolling since Monday, the release said.

News that a federal court judge in Texas ruled the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional could potentially cause confusion, Covered California said, so the deadline extension will also make sure people have ample time to enroll.

Federal officials have indicated that the law will remain in effect while the decision is pending appeal.

Nearly nine out of 10 Covered California customers receive financial help, and the average customer pays about $5 a day for healthcare, according to the release.

Some customers pay far less — a third of those who qualify for financial help can get plans for $50 per month or less, and three out of five consumers that qualify for financial help can get plans for $100 per month or less, Covered California said.

Depending on income levels, some Californians may qualify for the low- or no-cost Medi-Cal program.

“We know that four out of five uninsured Californians who are eligible for financial help either do not know or mistakenly think they do not qualify,” Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee said in the release.

“If you have checked before, take the time to check again, and don’t leave money on the table when you can get the peace of mind and protection that comes with health care coverage.”

Those interested in enrolling can visit CoveredCA.com to compare plan prices and apply.

Covered California commissioned this dance to depict how unexpected life events can leave people thankful for medical coverage. It kicked off this year’s open enrollment with a performance on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.

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