The Bus Stops Here

On Thursday, Covered California officials announced they’ll board a tour bus Monday morning to barnstorm across the state to promote the launch of the exchange’s second open enrollment period that starts Nov. 15.

Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee will be among those on the bus taking off from the Capitol steps in Sacramento early Monday morning.

The bus tour will last nine days, Covered California officials said, and make more than 20 stops in cities across the state to spread the word about the open enrollment period and help people with enrollment.

“We want to hit every corner of the state,” said James Scullary, information officer at Covered California. “We want to make sure people get the message of affordable, accessible, quality care being available to them. We’ll be meeting with our community partners in various regions, we’ll be meeting with local leaders and with people across the state who have questions about coverage through Covered California.”

Scullary said outreach is more than advertising plans or media buys, it’s about reaching people through established community-based organizations, insurance agents and call centers — through personal interaction.

That includes getting on a bus and meeting Californians, he said.

“This is kind of like an old-style train stop or bus caravan from the days of yore,” Scullary said.

Last year, open enrollment was a six-month process. This year it will be half as long, starting Nov. 15 and ending Feb. 15.

Covered California this month will be sending out its second batch of monthly renewal notices. Exchange officials hope the bulk of the 1.1 million Californians who paid for coverage during the first open enrollment period will re-up for their insurance.

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Capitol Desk Covered California