Exchange Survey Sets Table for Upcoming Open Enrollment Period

Many Californians don’t know they qualify for coverage help in the form of federal subsidies, according to a survey released on Thursday by Covered California.

According to the survey, 36% of Californians without health insurance did not know they might qualify for tax subsidies from the federal government to help pay for health insurance through the Covered California exchange.

“This is a big deal,” said Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California, because it pinpoints the need to drive home that point to consumers in advance of the exchange’s third open enrollment period, which starts Nov. 1 and ends Jan. 31.

“The most important thing to help a consumer buy health insurance is that subsidy,” Lee said.

The survey also found that:

  • Most California consumers — 85% of them — are aware of Covered California, the state’s health insurance marketplace that kicked off in October 2013;
  • Outreach efforts have successfully reached many ethnic communities across the state, as awareness was high among many racial and ethnic groups;
  • Media coverage of the exchange has been a primary factor in people’s awareness of it, as 60% of those surveyed said they had been exposed to news about Covered California, while 56% had seen Covered California advertising; and
  • The majority of those who knew about the exchange investigated whether they qualified for Covered California insurance subsidies.

Lee said about 750,000 Californians are eligible for subsidies, and that about 295,000 to 450,000 people will enroll during the next open enrollment period.

“We have a lot of momentum, and we are heading into our third enrollment season with a high level of public support,” Lee said.

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