Sacramento Vice Mayor Eric Guerra and Covered California leader Jessica Altman made a last-chance appeal Wednesday to roughly 200,000 uninsured residents in the Sacramento region to sign up for health insurance before open enrollment ends Tuesday.
Many locals are paying $10 or less in monthly health insurance premiums for policies through Covered California, and that deal is still available for others, Altman stressed at a news conference on the west steps of the Capitol.
Guerra said: “I know personally how critical it is to have a healthy family, and you can only have that when you have health coverage that helps you out. Without a healthy family, you can’t go to work, you can’t go to school, and our seniors can’t age with dignity.”
Altman noted that Jan. 31, the final day of open enrollment, is “less than one week, just six days remaining until the deadline,” Altman said.
She added: “Right now, 90% of Covered California’s enrollees qualify for financial help, thanks to the increased and expanded financial assistance first made available by the American Rescue Plan and then extended by the Inflation Reduction Act.”
On average, the federal assistance offered through these two laws covers 80% of the cost or value of health plans for consumers, Altman said at an event unveiling a large-scale art piece that will temporarily be on display outside the Capitol. Using iconic Sacramento buildings, bridges and trees as accents, the artists spelled out the words: ENROLL NOW in huge letters.
Lead artist Christian Garcia said he’d recently signed up for health care coverage through Covered California, the state-based marketplace that sets standards for insurers and makes sure they also meet other federal and state guidelines before they can offer policies.
“I’m a brand new enrollee,” the 34-year-old Garcia said. “As an independent artist, you find that you’re constantly working and constantly moving. You have projects that … may be risky at times, so you have to be able to take care of yourself.”
A Chico resident, Garcia said the process to sign up was easy, fast and efficient. Consumers can enroll at www.coveredca.com or call (800) 300-1506. To find agents you can meet in person, visit www.coveredca.com/support/contact-us/.
Altman said that the number of sign-ups during the current open enrollment period have been about the same as Covered Callifornia saw last year: More than 202,000 state residents had bought new policies by Jan. 14, and more than 1.5 million people had renewed their coverage.
So far, two-thirds of the 2023 enrollees have qualified for coverage that costs $10 a month or less, Altman said. In many cases, consumers choose to pay a bit more to get a policy with a lower deductible or added benefits.