Covered California enrollment deadline nears

SAN DIEGO – The date to remember is February 15. That’s only a little more than a week away. 

As the state of California marks the second year of this insurance marketplace, political leaders are joining patient advocates to bring more people into Covered California. 

At the La Maestra Community Health Clinic, Julia Marcouzet is busier than ever.

She’s signing up another San Diego family for Covered California. With the deadline for open enrollment falling on February 15, Julia said she’s seeing more people who want health insurance.

Some of them are getting insurance for the first time, there’s tens of thousands of them.

Peter Lee is the director of Covered California, the state run insurance exchange, created through the Federal Affordable Care Act.

“When I travel the state, people say, ‘I got covered.’ One man said, ‘I got a cancer diagnosis, but I got treated and treated early. That’s huge,'” Lee said.

In the first year of enrollment, more than a million people signed up for health insurance through Covered California. 

Nearly 10 percent of the nearly insured were from San Diego County.

“Consumers now need to make sure when they pick a plan, is their doctor in it, is their hospital in it and what’s the right choice for them,” Lee said.

By giving more people access to affordable health care, assembly speaker Toni Atkins said fewer patients end up in local emergency rooms, which helps drive down the cost of health care for everyone.

Enrollment counselors in San Diego and around the state help to ensure the program’s success.

“We’re able to finish the application pretty quickly. It’s just a matter of also informing our patients of what they just bought,” said Karla Ramirez. 

Ramirez is an enrollment counselor with a very personal perspective.

“I did not have any health insurance until last year. I signed up as well,” Ramirez said.

Now Karla has insurance and so do her parents. She signed up both of them through Covered California. 

“My parents, especially my mother, was able to go see doctors. She’s loving every bit of it,” Ramirez said.

The deadline for enrollment period is February 15. La Maestra Community Clinic will make counselors available February 7 at the clinic in National City.

For a list of other enrollment locations by zip code, residents can visit the website for “Covered California.”

A link is available on the KUSI TV website.

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