California: @CoveredCA enrolls 1.74M during 2023 Open Enrollment, + notes of interest from executive report
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Covered California announced that 263,320 people had newly selected a health plan for 2023, continuing a trend of steady growth in recent years. The total is more than 14,000 higher than 2021’s total, and 8,000 higher than last year’s figure. In addition, more than 1.4 million Californians renewed their health insurance for 2023, bringing Covered California’s overall enrollment to 1.74 million.
“Covered California is woven into the fabric of our health care system, providing quality coverage in every corner of the state and protecting more than 1.7 million Californians,” said Jessica Altman, executive director of Covered California. “The strength in these numbers is driven by the Inflation Reduction Act, which provides increased and expanded financial help, bringing the cost of coverage within reach for millions of Californians who need health insurance.”
Covered California’s analysis shows that the total number of consumers selecting a plan for 2023 is 1,739,360, which reflects 1,476,040 consumers renewing their coverage and 263,320 consumers newly signing up for coverage during open enrollment.
Hmmmm...the 1.74M figure is also what they had reported near the end of January when there were only a few days left of Open Enrollment. I was expecting the final grand total to come in around ~40K higher, but apparently not.
“The strength and stability that Covered California has seen since the pandemic started are a testament to the work we do, and the fundamental belief that health care is a right and not a privilege,” Altman said. “Covered California is dedicated to increasing the number of people who have quality health insurance and reducing the state’s uninsured rate, which now sits at a record low.”
Since Covered California’s first open-enrollment period in 2013, federal data shows that California’s uninsured rate fell from 17.2 percent to a record low 7.0 percent in 2021, which is the largest percentage point drop for any state in the nation over this time period.
In addition, Covered California’s total enrollment has increased by 200,000 since the beginning of 2020, before the pandemic started.
Californians Can Still Enroll in Coverage
Covered California is also reminding Californians that they still have an opportunity to sign up for quality health insurance through Covered California’s special-enrollment period. As Covered California illustrates in its television ad, entitled “Life Takes a Turn,” some of the most common reasons that someone would be eligible for special enrollment would be losing health coverage, getting married, having a baby, permanently moving to California or moving within California.
A full list of qualifying life events can be found on our Special Enrollment page.
Those interested in learning more about their coverage options can:
- Visit CoveredCA.com.
- Get free and confidential in-person assistance, in a variety of languages, from a certified enroller.
- Have a certified enroller call them and help them for free.
- Call Covered California at (800) 300-1506.
Many Californians Can Get Comprehensive Coverage for $10 or Less
Consumers who sign up will benefit from the lower costs available through the increased and expanded financial help provided by the Inflation Reduction Act. Right now, nine out of every 10 Covered California consumers now qualify for financial help, and more than two-thirds of consumers are able to get comprehensive coverage for less than $10 a month.
There's also some interesting tidbits of info in the full March 2023 CoveredCA Executive Director's Report:
- An estimated 2-3 million Californians will lose Medi-Cal coverage as a result of Public Health Emergency (PHE) unwind. Covered California has partnered with the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) to help ensure Californians stay covered:
- DHCS Launched their advertising campaign on 2/8 focused on helping Medi-Cal beneficiaries (HHI <$25K) maintain eligibility by informing them about the necessary steps to keep their coverage
- Notices to those losing Medi-Cal will include some information about Covered California
- Covered CA will auto-plan select those losing Medi-Cal and qualifying for premium tax credit into a Covered California plan
- Covered CA will conduct tailored direct outreach to consumers transitioning off Medi-Cal to encourage them to explore and secure coverage through Covered California.
STATE LEGISLATIVE UPDATE:
The Legislative bill introduction deadline was on February 17. Some bills of interest to Covered California are listed below:
- AB 4 (Arambula) Covered California: Expansion – This bill declares the intent of the Legislature to expand Covered California access to all Californians regardless of immigration status.
- SB 595 (Roth) Covered California: data sharing – This bill would amend SB 644 (Leyva, 2022) by specifically prohibiting the disclosure of consumer information received from the Employment Development Department by Covered California to a certified insurance agent or a certified enrollment counselor without consumer consent.
- AB 1208 (Schiavo) California Health Benefit Exchange: Health Care Affordability Reserve Fund - This bill would require Covered California to annually update its proposed program design to maximize the number of low- and middle-income Californians with zero deductibles.
On January 30, Covered California submitted a comment letter in response to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposed Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for the 2024 plan year. In its comments, Covered California:
- Supported HHS’s limitation on the number of non-standardized Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) offered through Healthcare.gov to ease the barriers consumers may face when choosing a plan that works best for them;
- Encouraged the commitment to improving standard plan designs through a patient-centered approach;
- Applauded HHS’s efforts to create more opportunities to connect enrollees to higher-value QHPs; and
- Expressed concern over the relation and turnover between the existing and newly proposed pilot program to measure State-based Exchanges’ improper Advance Premium Tax Credit payments.
COVERED CALIFORNIA FOR SMALL BUSINESS
- Groups: 8,872
- Members: 79,218
- Average Group Size: 8.9
- YTD New Sales: 2,326