Covered California, Other State Exchanges Begin Enrollment
On Tuesday, state health insurance exchanges -- including Covered California -- opened for enrollment, U-T San Diego reports (Sisson, U-T San Diego, 9/30).
Covered California -- developed under the Affordable Care Act -- primarily serves individuals and small businesses.
Supporters hope that the exchange will function similarly to websites like Amazon and Expedia, allowing users to choose among various health plans through an easily navigable online store (California Healthline, 8/8).
The open enrollment period will end March 31, 2014.
Details of Exchange
Consumers who visit the Covered California website are able to compare insurance plans and determine if they qualify for federal subsidies by inputting their:
- Family size;
- Household income; and
- ZIP code.
On Tuesday, Covered California officials added to the site:
- An option to enroll in health plans; and
- A consolidated physician directory to allow consumers to search for doctors included in certain policies (U-T San Diego, 9/30).
The state on Tuesday will hold a series of events to promote the exchange in:
- Los Angeles;
- San Diego; and
- San Francisco (Cadelago, "Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 9/30).
Comments From Officials
Peter Lee -- executive director of Covered California -- said information in the exchange's servers "is locked down with as sure a data security plan as we could create" (U-T San Diego, 9/30).
Dana Howard, a spokesperson for the exchange, said that a federal government shutdown that also began on Tuesday will not affect open enrollment for the exchange.
"While we were funded with federal grants, we are state operated and run," Howard said, adding, "We do not use a dime of state taxpayer money, we have our own staff, so we are not reliant on federal staff to be able to fulfill our operations" (Bartolone, "KXJZ News," Capital Public Radio, 9/30).
On Monday, KPCC's "KPCC News" reported on the launch of open enrollment for Covered California (O'Neill, "KPCC News," KPCC, 9/30).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.