If you and your loved ones are in need of health insurance, there’s some good news! The open enrollment period for 2018 health plans via the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), aka “Obamacare,” is about to kick off again Nov. 1, 2017, and will continue through Jan. 31, 2018.
Community members who apply for health coverage through Covered California (our state’s ACA enrollment exchange) by Dec. 15, 2017, will have their coverage start Jan. 1, 2018, while those who apply after Dec. 15, 2017, will have to wait until mid-to-late first quarter 2018 for their coverage to commence.
For anyone seeking details about open enrollment events and other info, the Covered California website offers an excellent one-stop resource re: ACA health coverage. The website also links people to call centers with operators who speak Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Tagalog, Vietnamese and other languages.
Covered California provides a range of plans for people and families of all income levels; click here to visit the site.
Online at Covered California, health care purchasers can expect a six-part process along the lines of this:
Explore Your Options: Where visitors to the site can shop and compare to quickly peruse what they qualify for and the associated costs.
Compare Plans: Once visitors qualify for a Covered California plan, they can dig deeper and begin to compare plans and add the best one for them to their shopping cart.
Apply: In the next step, visitors will apply for their chosen health plan. To do so they will need their income info, ID, proof of citizenship or lawful presence, Social Security number and ZIP code.
Help: Help is at hand via phone or within one’s own community by calling 800-300-1506 or clicking Find Local Help on the Covered California home page.
Payment: Visitors may be able to make their initial payment online, or wait for the bill to come in the mail. Those who qualify for Medi-Cal will receive info from their county office.
Covered: Upon completing that simple process, that’s it, visitors are covered and can get the quality health care they need.
“I encourage community members who are currently without health insurance to visit the Covered California website during the open enrollment period to explore the array of coverage options available to them,” said Kyra Worthy, For Richmond’s executive director.
Again, to explore the range of plans available through Covered California, visit the site here or call 1-800-300-1506.
-Kathy Chouteau, Kathy@4richmond.org