Greenlining Institute Urges Californians to Learn About Their Options as Covered California Builds on Last Year’s Success

Contact:
Bruce Mirken, Greenlining Institute Media Relations Director, 510-926-4022415-846-7758 (cell)

BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA – Following a successful launch which brought affordable health coverage to 1.1 million Californians, Covered California – the health insurance marketplace created by federal health care reform – is about to begin its second open enrollment period, beginning Nov. 15 and running until Feb. 15.

“Health care reform has been a major step forward for communities of color in California, but many still have not taken advantage of the new options that are available,” said Greenlining Institute Health Policy Fellow Anthony Galace. “We’re happy to report that Covered California has made improvements this year that should make shopping for coverage easier.”

Among other things, Covered California has:

  • Improved the customer experience by collaborating with community-based organizations to help with outreach and enrollment. There are more than 6,400 Certified Enrollment Counselors and more than 12,000 Certified Insurance Agents to help consumers choose and enroll in the best coverage option.
  • Added over 250 additional bilingual staff in its service centers in order to better serve Californians whose English is limited. The need for improved language assistance was a major issue highlighted by Greenlining last June in its analysis of Covered California’s first year.
  • Provided $16.9 million to 135 community organizations that will help people enroll and also provide post-enrollment and retention assistance, providing a more streamlined “one stop shop” for California residents who need assistance with their health coverage.
  • Added dental coverage for children to all 2015 Covered California plans.

Galace noted that renewal for the 1.1 million Californians enrolled last year has already begun. “Those who like their current plan can keep it without doing anything,” he explained, “but since some prices have changed , it’s a good idea to check your options.”

The Greenlining Institute has assembled important information for Californians seeking health coverage at http://greenlining.org/issues-impact/health-equity/affordable-care-act-information-for-californians/

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THE GREENLINING INSTITUTE
A Multi-Ethnic Public Policy, Research and Advocacy Institute

www.greenlining.org