Issues with Covered California

SAN DIEGO – Our state is operating its own healthcare exchange, and its website is running more smoothly than But Covered California does have its own problems, including enrolling Latinos, which is critical to its success.

The numbers are well below where the Covered California leaders think they should be.

211 is one of the points of contact for healthcare navigators in San Diego County, who help people navigate the website. There was a massive mobilization statewide in October to reach out to the Latino population.

But October signups were fewer than one thousand.

Covered California's problems include:

  • Lack of Bilingual counselors and phone operators
  • No available paper applications in Spanish
  • Technical issues on the website

To give you a sense of the problem, the wait time for a Spanish-language phone counselor averages 18 minutes.

In addition, if Covered California is to be successful, there has to be robust enrollment of younger, healthier Latinos. They demonstrated in the streets for Obamacare, and voted for it, in order to make healthcare affordable.

“They didn't realize in addition they're going to be paying for the seniors under this plan , because of the cross subsidy, the young will pay for the old.”

Richard Rider, Chairman of San Diego Tax Fighters, also says don't count on the Feds' promise to fund 90% of those costs after two years. “Nobody's talking about what happens after two years. Where does the money come from to continue to provide the extensive increase in government-paid healthcare, nobody knows. ”

“Long-term projections of what the Federal Government is going to fund – with the state on the hook for the obligation – is a bad mix.”

With millions of Californians being pushed into Medi-Cal, under which many pay nothing for healthcare, private insurance premiums and taxpayers will have to cover those costs.

Millions of people, in California and across the country, are discovering that the Affordable Care Act is anything but affordable.


Steve Bosh

Categories: KUSI