Covered California Plans Changes After Report on Open Enrollment
On Thursday, Covered California released a report outlining lessons learned during the first open enrollment period and efforts the exchange will take to address those issues, KPCC's "KPCC News" reports.
The report comes ahead of the exchange's second open enrollment period, which begins on Nov. 15 (Florido, "KPCC News," KPCC, 10/16).
For more on Covered California's renewal efforts, see today's "Capitol Desk" post.
The report identified three main lessons from the exchange's first open enrollment period:
- Consumer interest and interactions outpaced predictions and posed a challenge for exchange systems and services;
- Consumers need more education about health coverage terminology, enrollment and using insurance; and
- Consumers relied heavily on assistance to successfully enroll in coverage.
Efforts To Improve Exchange Systems
To reduce wait times for enrollment assistance during the second open enrollment period, the exchange has hired more than 1,300 assisters to help consumers over the telephone or through online chats and in-person meetings. There were just 381 enrollment assisters at the beginning of the first open enrollment period and 709 at the end of the period. The exchange's service centers also will extend their hours.
In addition, 254 service center representatives will speak a language other than English -- such as Spanish and Chinese -- compared with 55 who did so during the first open enrollment period.
Meanwhile, many enrollees now will be able to pay their first premium online when they sign up for coverage.
The exchange also has spent $22.6 million to add capacity to its enrollment portal.
Efforts To Educate Consumers
The exchange plans to provide enrollment counselors and insurance agents with additional tools to educate consumers, such as:
- An updated glossary of exchange-related terms;
- Bimonthly newsletters;
- Biweekly webinars; and
- Training offered by subject matter experts.
Covered California also will expand call lines that are dedicated to enrollment assisters (Covered California release, 10/16).
Efforts To Make Enrollment Easier
Covered California's partners plan to launch assistance efforts at about 200 retail locations where consumers can enroll, renew or learn more about obtaining health coverage.
In addition, at the beginning of the second open enrollment period, there will be:
- More than 12,000 certified insurance agents;
- 10,000 county eligibility workers; and
- 6,400 certified enrollment counselors (Gorman, Kaiser Health News' "Capsules," 10/16).
The exchange also plans to target enrollment efforts at Asian-American, black and Latino populations (Covered California release, 10/16).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.