Helping the middle class with health care costs
SAN DIEGO (AP) – Californians have a little more time to purchase health insurance plans that take effect with the new year.
Sunday was the original deadline to purchase insurance plans from Covered California that take effect Jan. 1. But state officials announced Monday that they have extended the deadline through Friday.
Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee said officials extended the deadline after seeing a strong surge in enrollment last week.
Covered California is the state’s health insurance marketplace. Some people who purchase plans through Covered California are eligible to get help paying their monthly premiums.
On Jan. 1, California will be offering financial assistance to middle income individuals and families struggling to pay health insurance premiums. A UCLA health survey shows access to health insurance is at an historic high, yet a growing number of uninsured Californian’s continue to struggle to afford coverage.
An additional $429 million has been appropriated for monthly premium subsidies to bring down the costs for Californians who have been left out of the health insurance market. That’s hundreds of thousands of middle class individuals and families.
Next year, California has increased the amount of subsidies available for some people. Plus, the state will begin taxing people who don’t have health insurance. Together, state officials said those two things have driven a 16% increase in new enrollments through Covered California.
The final deadline to purchase health insurance through Covered California is Jan. 31. Plans purchased after Friday’s deadline won’t take effect until Feb. 1.